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Better Public Media commends RNZ for its planned new "digital experience"

Better Public Media commends RNZ for its planned new "digital experience" entailing a mobile app offering elements of a news website and social media.

"As audiences move away from traditional linear broadcasting, the future for public service media providers like RNZ has to be flexible, multi-platform, and responsive to evolving audience needs - and that inevitably requires online initiatives and digital apps," said BPM Chair, Dr Peter Thompson.

In BPM's view, public media innovations through new digital platforms is exactly what non-commercial government-funded media need to be doing. As Thompson explained, "RNZ doesn't compete for advertising revenue, and that enables it to take risks and trial new ideas which, if successful, can also be adapted by commercial media. This shouldn't be seen as a threat to the commercial sector but as a contribution to the media ecology as a whole."

Details of the initiative are sparse, having only come to public attention through a leak to the NZ Herald. It is not clear whether the initiative is part of a broader strategy that will include other demographics. More details about how it serves more niche audiences along with the broad 30-49 year old group as mentioned in the NZ Herald, would be welcome.

"Public service media both in Aotearoa and internationally function to serve the needs of all audiences. The scope of services RNZ provides therefore must include content aimed at both mainstream audiences and niche communities not well-served by commercial media. That is an important part of giving taxpayers value for money," Dr Thompson said.

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