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Coddington Announces Libertarianz Broadcasting

POLICY RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Coddington Announces Libertarianz Broadcasting Policy

"Libertarianz' Media and Broadcasting Policy is simple, and could be implemented immediately," says Deborah Coddington, Libertarianz Broadcasting Deregulation Spokesman.

"In essence, it would see government being removed from participation in broadcasting," she says. "Libertarianz recognises the state's legitimate role in broadcasting: protecting individual's legitimate interests, including protection of the private property of the airwaves, protection of copyright, and protection against defamation and fraud. We understand that government can not perform these legitimate functions properly while taking taxpayers' money to be a competitor itself."

The State is not involved in the print media in this country, and neither should it be. Equally, the State should not be involved in the broadcast media.

"Many people may say that if the state is no longer involved in broadcasting, then standards will fall and journalistic integrity will be threatened. This argument ignores the available evidence," points out Coddington. "Magazines such as North & South are privately owned, receive no taxpayer funding and must be run on a successful commercial basis. For the second year in a row, North & South has won Editor of the Year and Magazine of the Year Awards at the Magazine Publishers' Association Awards, demonstrating that journalistic integrity is not sacrificed for commercialism, as the critics of privatisation of radio and television claim."

In fact," says Coddington, "the more real concern is what happens to journalists' integrity when used in the service of the state!"

Main points:

# All government interests in broadcasting to be sold including TVNZ, TVNZ's subsidiary BCL Ltd, Radio New Zealand and National Radio.

# No compulsory quotas introduced.

# The Broadcasting Standards Authority abolished.

Broadcasters wanting quality control would be free to set up a voluntary organisation such as The Press Council.

# New Zealand on Air abolished. There would be no taxpayer funds made available for the making of television programmes, films or for the running of radio stations.

# The setting up of state run youth radio would be stopped.

# Te Mangai Paho abolished.

There would be no state funding of Maori broadcasting.

# All remaining airwaves totally deregulated and sold.

# Censor's Office abolished. Libertarianz advocates total freedom of speech in the media, subject only to standard legislation on defamation and fraud

# Defamation trials, due to the specialist nature of their arguments, should not be heard as jury trials. They should instead be held before a High Court Judge.

ENDS

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