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Broadcasting policy: Diversity & choice

Jonathan Coleman MP
National Party Broadcasting Spokesman

7 July 2008

Broadcasting policy: Diversity & choice

National Party Broadcasting spokesman Jonathan Coleman has released the party’s broadcasting policy today.

“The broadcasting policy that National will take to the 2008 election paves the way for new diversity on free-to-air television, with free-to-air broadcasters and independent producers being invited to contest charter funding that is currently directly allocated to TVNZ with virtually no questions asked.

“Under a National Government, that $15 million will be allocated by New Zealand On Air, which will invite all free-to-air channels and independent producers to pitch for state investment in their projects. With all the talent, creativity, and diversity we have in New Zealand, we expect this policy to result in higher quality, more diverse content on free-to-air broadcasters and their web-based services.

"The freeing up of direct charter funding to competition will unshackle TVNZ from the dual mandate that Labour imposed on the broadcaster through the charter. This is a transparent policy for TVNZ to operate under.”

Other aspects of the policy include:

• Retaining ownership of all current state broadcasters, and maintaining support for the Freeview platform.

• Demanding clear accountability for the $79 million of direct funding that goes to TVNZ 6 & 7.

• Continued support for Maori Television.

• Analogue switch-off by 2015. The final date will be confirmed once 75% of households have digital, or 2012, whichever occurs first.

• Continued funding for Radio NZ National, Pacific Radio Trust, and Access Radio.

• Regular publication of rating/audience/household penetration data for any broadcasting entity receiving state funding.

“National is advocating a new funding model for public broadcasting that is compatible with the rapidly evolving technological environment. It is founded on the principle that we will ensure public funds are used for quality public broadcasting, and it will promote transparency, accountability, and competition in the broadcasting sector.”

ENDS

For policy summary visit: For policy summary visit: http://www.national.org.nz/files/.___0_0_Broadcasting.pdf

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