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TVNZ - A State-Owned Propaganda Machine

5 August 2002

TVNZ – A STATE-OWNED PROPAGANDA MACHINE

“Could it be that Labour MP David Benson-Pope’s recent attacks on the media are designed to disguise the increasing criticism that the media favoured Parties on the Left of the political spectrum,” asks Party Leader Graham Capill? The recent campaign has certainly given credence to the widespread suspicion that TVNZ is a state-owned propaganda machine: a PR machine for the Labour Government and its potential allies.

“One has to ask if there has not been Labour interference in the decision making about whom to report and what spin to use.

“Prior to Labour coming to power, the CHP was included in debates once or twice a month (mainly on moral and family issues). That ceased when Labour came to office and there have been very few occasions in the last three years when CHP views could be expressed.

“It is to be noted that neither Act nor National are satisfied with the balance achieved by most broadcasters. The public appears surprised by how little scrutiny has been given to the Prime Minister and her Party.

“Christian Heritage has contacted all parties about TVNZ’s decision to exclude it from the Leaders’ Debate. Every Party except Labour and United Future agreed that CHP had a good case to be included in television debates and there was a cause to suspect that it had been treated unfairly. This too suggests that the source of the problem is the Labour led Government.

“There needs to be tighter laws restricting bias and unfair treatment in campaigns. There also needs to be an effective appeals authority to deal with broadcasters who abuse their power,” Mr Capill insisted.

“Of course Christian Heritage with its principled views on sanctity of life from conception to natural death, reform of the justice system to focus on victim restoration and a focus on supporting and promoting the traditional family unit would be no desirable coalition party for Labour. Only a pragmatic party can fit that bill,” he said.

The CHP is calling for legislation to be introduced to give the Electoral Commission a clear power to review decisions of broadcasters with respect to election programming to ensure that decisions made are consistent with the principles of democracy.

END

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