Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Public Broadcasting Needs To Be An Election Issue

Public Broadcasting Needs To Be An Election Issue


10 June 2014

The Coalition for Better Broadcasting is calling on all political parties to commit to a three-pronged plan to strengthen public service broadcasting in New Zealand.

The three points of the plan are:

Defrost Radio NZ funding
Establish a non-commercial television channel
Fund these with a small levy on SkyTV and other commercial broadcasters, and on ISPs/Telcos
“These three policies would virtually guarantee the long-term survival of Radio NZ and a new public service television channel, without political influence by politicians playing hardball with funding,” says the Chief Executive of the CBB, Myles Thomas.

Radio NZ

Mr Thomas points out that Radio NZ is the country’s favourite radio broadcaster with 500,000 regular listeners. “Market research shows that an astounding four fifths of all New Zealanders think Radio NZ is ‘valuable’ to New Zealand.”

“Yet this national taonga is at breaking point as a result of a freeze in funding since 2008. Even back then an independent report said Radio NZ was under-resourced and recommended increases of $6m plus. Instead the government funding freeze has effectively cut the budget by 9% after inflation. Radio NZ has survived without complaining but CEO, Paul Thompson recently admitted How much longer can we cut the cloth? Not much longer.”

“It is inevitable the freeze will begin to undermine the quality of our only public service broadcaster, something the vast majority of New Zealanders will not be happy about.”


A non-commercial television channel

Since the demise of the Charter and TVNZ 6 & 7, New Zealand television audiences have become paupers. The programming content available to New Zealanders is now little more than reality tv, shopping channels, news as entertainment and swathes of foreign drama.

“The government has proven that funding television content instead of television channels has resulted in less local programmes being made and a poorer range of content, with many genres now ‘extinct’ in NZ. Contrary to popular belief, online audiences are not yet strong enough and won’t be for at least ten years as technology reaches the rest of the population.

TVNZ 7 showed there are vast and hungry audiences out there for intelligent programming. It is up to politicians to take the bold step to commit to a public service television channel for all New Zealanders today and for future generations.


The Levy

Mr Thomas says it is important that public service broadcasting is funded in a way that is sustainable, and isn’t prey to changing government whims. A tiny levy of 1% on the revenue of ISPs and commercial broadcasters like SkyTV would ensure independent funding in perpetuity.

Levies are commonplace through every sector of business. Broadcasters pay levies to fund the Broadcasting Standards Authority, the Radio Spectrum Management Unit and ISPs pay levies for the Rural Broadband Initiative. The Commerce Minister Craig Foss recently created a levy on all company returns to fund the Financial Markets Authority. So it’s not the big scary tax that some try to portray it as.

Like most levies, it will effectively cost broadcasters and ISPs nothing as they pass it on to their customers. And this solution will fund non-commercial television and radio without drawing on limited government funds.


Summary

These policies will be popular among voters across the political spectrum and have long-lasting, tangible benefits for New Zealand. The CBB hopes that all parties will adopt these policies and ensure a renaissance of public service broadcasting in New Zealand.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

'Tea Break Bill' Passes: Gordon Campbell On Bad Labour Laws And Poor Safety

By co-incidence, one of the prime dangers of the government’s new employment relations law has been underlined by the release of the death and injury statistics among workers at New Zealand ports. These are highly profitable enterprises for the port owners.

The Port of Tauranga for instance, is expecting its current full-year profit to be between $78 million and $83 million and other ports are enjoying similar boom times – but they are also highly dangerous places for the people who work on or around the port premises. At the Port of Tauranga, there have been 26 serious accidents since 2011, and two deaths. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

No Charges: Outcome Of Operation Clover Investigation

Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls in the Waitemata Police district and wider Auckland area... More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF Report: NZ Cautioned On "Stagnating" Child Poverty

An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession. More>>

ALSO:

Funding Report: Two Pathways For Transport In Auckland

Commissioned by Auckland Council, the group was asked to investigate two possible pathways for raising $300 million per year ($12 billion over 30 years) to pay for the improvements needed to help fix Auckland’s transport system. More>>

ALSO:

Pay Equity: Equal Pay Win In Court Of Appeal

CTU: The Court of Appeal has made a historic decision paving the way for a substantial equal pay claim for aged care workers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Finishing Line, And Amazon’s Woes

If the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal wasn’t such a serious matter, this would be pretty funny… More>>

ALSO:

TV3 Video: Three Die On Roads Over Labour Weekend

The official holiday period ended at 6am Tuesday, with three deaths on the roads during the Labour Day weekend. More>>

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news