Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Labour’s public media policies must not repeat mistakes

Labour’s public media policies must not repeat previous under-funding mistakes

The government’s announcement of $15m additional funding for public media services is welcome but it falls well short of Labour’s election manifesto promise to provide ‘$38m a year in additional funding for quality New Zealand programming and journalism’.

Better Public Media is concerned that this shortfall in funding means Labour’s commitment to expand Radio New Zealand into RNZ+ will be delayed or compromised. It is doubtful that $15m will be sufficient to develop RNZ+ into a non-commercial television service as well as fulfilling Labour’s other commitments to support investigative journalism.

Despite the promise of further funding in future years, such a paltry sum is insufficient to meaningfully redress the damage done to public media under the preceding three governments.

BPM Chair, Dr. Peter Thompson commented that “Minister Curran’s plan to redevelop RNZ+ as a multi-platform public service correctly identified an important gap in New Zealand media. It would bring New Zealanders the screen content that we need - nightly current affairs, non-commercial programmes for children and young people, regular documentaries on arts, science, music and everything else going on in this wonderful country. But successfully re-establishing a commercial-free public channel cannot be done on the cheap. The funding level has to match the policy vision.”

Under previous Labour governments, both the TVNZ Charter and the TVNZ 6/7 set-up were undermined by intra-cabinet budget wrangling that resulted in insufficient funding. Between 2003 and 2008, TVNZ’s Charter received roughly $95m in funding but the broadcaster paid out $142m in dividends.

“One would have hoped that Labour would have learned from its past policy mistakes, so it is very disappointing that the budget has not delivered on their election commitments,” said Peter Thompson. “Of course, there are many pressing policy priorities like housing and health. But the relatively minor cost of improved public media is a small price to pay for healthy democracy, cultural identity and informed discussion of those larger issues.”

The Ministerial Advisory Group set up to make recommendations on the Public Media Funding Commission and the distribution of the additional funding between RNZ and NZ On Air now has a difficult challenge. If the $15m in the budget is further divided, the limited initial investment in RNZ+ risks not having the impact needed to justify further ministerial claims for future funding increases.

“Ideally, there would be enough in the budget to cover the cost of both RNZ+ and expanding NZ On Air’s funding of investigative journalism. Even the $38m originally promised would still leave New Zealand lagging well behind the public media funding levels of most comparable economies,” said Thompson. “The Better Public Media Trust has previously proposed a marginal levy system across a wide range of media services. Even at a very low rate of 0.5 percent this could potentially raise up to $80m in revenue- and that level of funding would make a substantial difference to the sorts of public media policies that can realistically be considered.”

*ENDS*

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell : On Dealing With Impeccable, Impeachable Lies

By now, the end game the Republican Senate majority has in mind in their setting of the rules for the impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump is pretty clear to everyone: first deny the Democrats the ability to call witnesses and offer evidence, and then derisively dismiss the charges for lack of evidence. For his part, does former security adviser John Bolton really, really want to testify against his former boss? If there was any competing faction within the Republican Party, there might be some point for Bolton in doing so – but there isn’t. More>>

Published on Werewolf

 
 

WINZ Quarterly Report: More People Getting Into Work

The December quarter benefit numbers released today show the Government’s plan to get people off the benefit and into work is starting to pay off,” Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said. More>>

ALSO:

Changing lives: Boost In Whānau Ora Funding

Whānau throughout New Zealand are set to benefit from an extra three million dollars that will go directly to Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies, the Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare announced today. More>>

ALSO:


PGF Kaikōura $10.88M: Boost In Tourism & Business

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. More>>

ALSO:

Whitebaiting: Govt Plans To Protect Announced

With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:


Education: Resource For Schools On Climate Change

New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change... More>>

ALSO:

In Effect April: New Regulations For Local Medicinal Cannabis

Minister of Health Dr David Clark says new regulations will allow local cultivation and manufacture of medicinal cannabis products that will potentially help ease the pain of thousands of people. More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On What An Inquiry Might Look Like

Presumably, if there is to be a ministerial inquiry (at the very least) into the Whakaari/White Island disaster, it will need to be a joint ministerial inquiry. That’s because the relevant areas of responsibility seem to be so deeply interwoven... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels