Broadcasting merger – why and what will it mean?

Barrie Saunders comments on the government’s proposals for restructuring public broadcasting (based on what we have been told so far) …

TVNZ and RNZ are to be merged but absent is a credible rationale or even the end point.   All that is being left to the yet to be appointed establishment board.

First, a bouquet to those journalists who have analysed the announcement and pointed out the information gaps.   Pretty amazing when you think this is all about communication entities.

In summary, what we know is they will come under one company umbrella, the budget for which has yet to be announced.  And yes, it will have a charter full of worthy objectives and will be required to cater better for minorities.

What will happen over the next year?

  • Massive lobbying by many to be on the new board, including current members of the RNZ and TVNZ boards.
  • Massive lobbying from the supporters of “public broadcasting”, some of whom are dismayed at the thought the commercial TVNZ culture will permeate their beloved RNZ.
  • Massive time spent inside parts of RNZ and TVNZ as staff lobby for key roles and speculate on what may happen.  A general loss of productivity.
  • Current CEOs of TVNZ and RNZ, Simon Power and Paul Thompson respectively, expected to be preoccupied with the merger and how they might head it, all at the expense of their day jobs.
  • Other media heads, including Discovery, to engage in the process to ensure they are advantaged or at least not disadvantaged.
  • Lots of media speculation about what’s going on.
  • General public confusion.

Continue reading “Broadcasting merger – why and what will it mean?”

Brace yourself for the peddling of propaganda and try to relish the experience (because you have paid for it with your taxes)

We weren’t surprised, at Point of Order, to see the scant media attention paid to a statement issued yesterday by ACT leader David Seymour.  

Headed  Government’s questionable media funding, the statement notes how the Government

“… is extending its tentacles into nearly every area of media with an offer too good to refuse for each outlet, and it has rapidly reached absurdity with taxpayer money spent on journalism to check on Government expenditure of taxpayer money”.

The statement was triggered by the announcement of the first tranche of the government’s $55 million Public Interest Journalism Fund.

As RNZ’s Mediawatch reported,  Māori journalism projects and a new training initiative are the major beneficiaries of the first $10m, but some of the money goes to things already funded from the public purse.

Mediawatch further noted

“… this is the biggest single public investment in journalism for decades and takes the total annual spend on media to over $300m. (There’s another $20m up his sleeve if Cabinet thinks the media need that too.)  

“Media companies big and small, local and national, public and private alike can all apply to the fund – including those which have never had public money before.”

Oh – but let’s not forget the need for recipients of this lolly to push a highly political ideological barrow:

Guidelines issued in April also said the fund ‘must actively promote the principles of Partnership, Participation and Active Protection under Te Tiriti o Waitangi’.”  Continue reading “Brace yourself for the peddling of propaganda and try to relish the experience (because you have paid for it with your taxes)”