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TVNZ’s editorial freedom vital

December 7, 2006

TVNZ’s editorial freedom vital

The union that represents journalists says that Television New Zealand’s right to make editorial judgments without political interference appears to be under threat from the National Party.

Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union national secretary Andrew Little said that he was appalled to hear a senior National Party MP, Gerry Brownlee, accuse TVNZ of helping Fiji military chief Frank Bainimarama to overthrow the government by broadcasting his comments.

“Television New Zealand news is run by professional journalists and has a duty to cover news of major significance,” he said.

“They and they alone should decide what should be covered. The day that a politician decides what the state broadcaster covers will be a sad day for the integrity of New Zealand democracy.

“The union is seeking an assurance from the National Party that media censorship is not National Party policy.”

Mr Little said the union was concerned about clamp-downs on Fijian media by the military leaders and was working with the International Federation of Journalists to restore a free press in Fiji.

ENDS

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