NZ Journalism Must Not Be Left To Languish
The sudden closure of Bauer Media NZ is devastating for New Zealand journalism and for the publics which depend on it in this time of national crisis.
Iconic magazine titles that have been household names, some for generations, were today shut down, with the Covid19 crisis blamed for the closures.
Among the pages consigned to history today was the work of some of the country’s pre-eminent journalists.
The implications for New Zealand democracy are serious. These often highly experienced journalists worked in multiple ways to hold the powerful to account.
Magazines regularly conduct in-depth analysis of issues long after the daily news media has moved on to its next story.
These closures have impacted an essential industry already reeling with multiple structural and commercial failures. Redundancies are under way or reportedly mooted for other major media companies in New Zealand.
The Journalism Education Association of New Zealand urges the New Zealand Government to keep public-affairs journalism at the forefront of its thinking as it moves to support New Zealanders during the Covid19 crisis.
While we commend the change that will allow community papers to publish during the national lockdown, the Government should also make plans to ensure all New Zealanders continue to get high-quality information in the coming months.
Not only will we will need strong science and environment reporting, we will need in-depth, long-form and even creative journalism to tell the complex stories that will arise from this pandemic. A well-informed public will be essential.
An adequately resourced news media, across both public and private sectors, is also critical in the current state of emergency, given the dramatically increased powers the State has at its disposal.