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Alliance on broadcasting

Kiwi quotas, Youth Radio Network, free-to-air sport and ad-free kids TV

Quotas for NZ content, a commercial-free Youth Radio Network, major sports events broadcast free-to-air and the possibility of removing advertising around kids programmes.

Those are the main features of the Alliance broadcasting policy announced today by Alliance leader Jim Anderton.

The Alliance wants a kiwi quota on free-to-air radio and TV, establishing a minimum of 30% local content for television and 15% for music radio. The quotas will include well-defined sub-quotas for particular types of programming along the lines of the Australian model, with particular emphasis on quality and balance.

As part of its commitment to local broadcasting, the Alliance would promote legislation to protect and restore live free to air broadcasts of significant national sports events.

‘Anti-siphoning’ legislation operates successfully overseas, notably in Britain, to ensure that the general public have access to major sports events without compromising the ability of sports to attract revenue through the sale of TV rights.

Opportunities for musicians to reach a broadcast audience will be further expanded through a Youth Radio Network, an idea that has been championed by Neil Finn. A similar network, Triple-J, operates in Australia.

“Radio is one of the most important influences on young lives. Young people are as entitled as other groups to have the choice of a dedicated commercial free radio network available to them. Surveys have revealed a widespread demand for this choice not only for music but for the chance for young people to hear their own news, current affairs, comedy, drama and even talkback,” Jim Anderton said.

The Alliance believes there is a good case for eliminating all forms of advertising during programmes viewed by school children.

“We protect pre-schoolers, but primary-age children also deserve protection from commercial bombardment because they don’t fully developed skills to be able to distinguish commercials from programmes.

“Children have the right to be informed and entertained without being subjected to intrusive and cynical manipulation by commercial messages,” Jim Anderton said.

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