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Huge turnout for final public investigation

Huge turnout for final public investigation into public broadcasting

From: ActionStation and Coalition for Better Broadcasting

Over 140 people packed a school hall in Mt Eden, Auckland yesterday to take part in the final event of the People’s Commission on Public Broadcasting and Media - a crowdfunded public inquiry into the state of public broadcasting and media in New Zealand.

Members of the public collaborated in the event involving input from experts and industry members such as journalists Alison Mau and Paula Penfold, industry experts Jane Wrightson and Paul Thompson, and TV star Suzy Cato, among others.

The People’s Commission is organised by ActionStation and the Coalition for Better Broadcasting and led by a panel of six diverse industry experts including Mark Jennings, Bill Ralston, Kay Elmers, Lance Wiggs, Shamubeel Eaqub and Lizzie Marvelly.

In recent years the media landscape has been dramatically altered and the inquiry highlighted that many people worry that the future of balanced public interest media ‘may be at risk’.

ActionStation and the Coalition for Better Broadcasting joined forces to organise the month of collaborative public workshops around the country that visited six cities to explore and answer the question, ‘what can be done to make our media better’?

Participants at the event yesterday revealed how passionate people are about the question of media and strong public broadcasting services. There were in-depth discussions, debates, and many different viewpoints provided from everyday people, alongside the industry professionals.

Overall themes that emerged emphasised the essential requirement of strong public broadcasting services for a healthy democracy and society. Where to find alternative methods of funding was a big discussion, and how to best channel it to the many different platforms. The need to cater to diverse audiences with specialised content was addressed and then how to make it most accessible. While it was agreed this is a complex situation, there were strong views on the need to nurture the makers of quality media content and meet the various demands of a diverse population.

Following the workshops the input collected will now be collated and a report presented with specific recommendations on how to make our public broadcasting and media healthy and strong. This report will be presented in a joint high-profile campaign by ActionStation and the Coalition for Better Broadcasting to the Government before Budget Day in May.

“More people participated in this process than the ‘Flag Consideration Panels',” said Co-Director of ActionStation Marianne Elliott. “I’m really inspired and pleased with the process and look forward to putting constructive recommendations to the wider public.”

“The explosion of digital media has turned the media industry on its head. While there are many talented and principled journalists committed to solid reporting and investigation, conflicting interests combined with malignant external forces have eroded the public’s trust in journalism” says panelist Lizzie Marvelly.

“We need trusted independent journalism providing citizens with the information they need to participate meaningfully in our democracy,” says panelist Kay Ellmers.

More information:

Website is here: www.makeourmediabetter.org.nz

The panelists are:

• Kay Ellmers (Producer/Director at Tumanako Productions)

• Shamubeel Eaqub (Economist and Author)

• Lizzie Marvelly (Editor, blogger and social media campaign creator)

• Mark Jennings (ex-Head of News MediaWorks)

• Bill Ralston (Journalist and Broadcaster)

• Lance Wiggs (Investor and business blogger)

The expert presenters were:

• Paula Penfold (Investigative journalist)

• Alison Mau (Journalist and presenter)

• Suzy Cato (Children’s presenter)

• Jane Wrightson (Chief Executive, NZ on Air)

• Paul Thompson (Chief Executive Officer, RNZ)

• Dan Salmon (Director & producer)

• Gavin Ellis (former Editor-in-Chief, NZ Herald)

• Anna Jackson (Creative producer and lecturer, AUT)

Contact details for the panelists available on request.

About ActionStation

ActionStation is an independent, member-led not-for-profit organisation representing over 100,000 Kiwis holding power to account, standing for a fair society, healthy environment & economic fairness.

About Coalition for Better Broadcasting

The Coalition for Better Broadcasting aims to improve broadcasting and media in New Zealand.


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