Dysfunctional HRC Targets Hate And Disharmony Streamed session A Fig Leaf For Commission Push

Green MP Golriz Grahraman is a high profile advocate for controlled speech,

A ministerial report from retired Employment Court judge Coral Shaw was a damning indictment of the Human Rights Commission, which was described as “dysfunctional” and “toxic”. Justice Minister Andrew Little is working with the State Services Commission to resolve problems which he said had been apparent to him, before media reports about its errant handling of a sexual harassment complaint. “Problems at the Commission came to me previously from a number of sources,” Little says. ”I made the judgment that the failure with the sexual harassment complaint was a product of a dysfunction at the Commission,” he says.

RNZ community engagement editor is in the media – but is expected to support restrictions on speech.

There have been other examples of mission creep at the Commission – with a focus on development of its own profile and what AUT history professor Paul Moon sees as evidence of an “ideology” developing at the Commission. In my opinion the Commission human sometimes act like a state-sanctioned activist, a role that is even more problematical with Labour and the Greens in power. The activist tendency is playing out in a nascent debate over “hate speech” – or “disharmonious language” as the Commission calls it. Two meetings on the topic held in Wellington, tomorrow, Tuesday May 22. One – led by Internet NZ – is being streamed and includes Golriz Grahraman amongst speakers. None of the speakers are promoters for free speech. It is chaired by Dr Paul Spoonley, an academic tipped for the role of Race Relations Conciliator. 

 

HERE IS THE FULL LIST OF SPEAKERS: https://internetnz.nz/event/hate-and-internet

 

The Internet NZ session is attached  to a closed and private meeting of NGOs organised by the Human Rights Commission.  a source familiar with the planning said that the streamed speakers was a public shop front while in the private meeting led by the Commission.

“ This is a fig leaf for what is going on at the HRC closed meeting,” the source says,

Internet NZ has acknowledged tomorrow’s session was linked to the controversial comments by Israel Folau, who responded to queries and said that under his religious views, homosexual people would “ burn in hell” if they did not repent.

Andrew Little sees problems at the Human Right Commission but sees a review hate speech rules in the future,

Attempts to pin down expectations for the HRC- organised meeting were fraught. The Commission insisted it was not working toward new hate speech legislation. Internet New Zealand initially wouldn’t discuss the allied meeting,

The upshot is that renewed debate about hate speech – at a time when the world is  obsessed with the notion of fake News – appears to be  being led by a Commission that is organisationally dysfunction. In my opinion the is taking too little stock of the importance for freedom of speech.

Labour may be wary of the HRC currently. But Little indicated he is prepared to limit freedom of speech.

Paul Moon has long questioned the lack of transparency at the Commission and an unwillingness to discuss its position on hate speech.

A July 2017 Commisssion report referred to concern about a more nebulous concept, “disharmonious” speech.

Moon says the Commission refuses to spell out what that means. Disharmony is not necessarily a bad thing.

Moon detects a mood at the Commission to introduce more controls over speech. akin to greater state oversight like those in Canada and in the UK.

Israel Folau and his comments that homosexuals would “ Burn in hell. The notion of hell – let alone that of a fiery tempest – seems olde world. How many people take his views so seriously they should be banned,

Yet numerous celebrities -including All Black TJ Perenara – and Newshub political editor Tova O’Brien – exercised their outrage and said Folau’ comments were beyond the pair. There is no room in my world for people who think gay people are going to hell” O’Brien said.

Many people did not like what Israel and Maria Folau said – but should they be silenced?

Freedom of speech does not exempt Folau is exempt from consequences and he got a sound whacking on mainstream and social media.

Views were expressed. People had an idea of the competing freedoms,

The HRC has been active in this space for a long time and regularly holds forth on perceived racism sexism, and transphobia 

We have now come to expect interventions from the state agency with chiding of people who break unstated moral rules, 

Dr Paul Spoonley is chairman of the Internet NZ speaker series and is tipped to be the next Race Relations Conciliator/

The Commissioners wax lyrical about Christchurch everything from utterances or the N word – which it had pre-arranged, a Chinese restaurant which used crass phrases on its menu and tweeting transexual former male who competed as a woman. Itmis not so much these views are advances, but that alternative opinions ar being shut out.

There is now an expectation that the Commission will make statement on any perceived example of what it calls disharmonious speech. What we know nowise that the state agency now comments on all incidents that involve race, gender or even tenancy problems.

 Little defends its media activities, but suggests problems may be due to a lack interest by National over the past nine years.

Andrew Little points out that the Commisssion has a role to promote understanding of human rights.

He said that in two or three years there may be a review so that New Zealand Human Rights laws are consistent with those overseas.

“It may well be that is the time to consider whether there has to be a beefing up over the coverage of hate speech,” he said.

“I am acutely aware that is an area that has the potential to seriously infringe on freedom of speech.”We need to find a line that is beyond obnoxious butclearly harmful and damaging” the minister said. 

The Internet NZ event is a shop front window with the real activity behind the scenes involving the Commission and lobby group. The most disturbing aspect is that the discussions are taking place in the name of diversity, where some opinions – on the importance of freedom of speech – does not have a champion.

× Featured

Paddy Is Leaving The Room. How Many Days To Go?

Activist Dumped From Oz Media Watchdog,

 

https://mumbrella.com.au/getups-carla-mcgrath-disputes-request-to-resign-from-press-council-517137

Activist Carla McGrath has vowed to resist her removal from the Australian Press Council. A year ago the appointment of McGrath to the Council set off a major row. She is deputy chairman of the Left wing activist organisation Get Up. The Murdoch media organisation had repeatedly complained about her bias, and said it wouldn’t abide by APC decisions she was involved with.

Who guards the guards of media standards? Should political campaigners have a role overseeing the Press that is greater than the general public.

Carla McGrath is deputy chair or the activist organisation Get Up

I’d argue that strongly held views must be considered by regulators considering complaints. But opinion must be free, and the opinions of a political activists do not reflect independence. Continue reading “Activist Dumped From Oz Media Watchdog,”

× Featured

Paddy Is Leaving The Room. How Many Days To Go?

The Top Cop Statement Was A Step Too Far

There has been a about the false Clarke Gayford rumours. But there has been limited debate about the decision that led the media to investigate and reject the rumours.In an unprecedented step last week, Police Commissioner Mike Bush stepped into the fray, telling the public that the rumours his staff were investigating Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s partner were not true.

“While in general we do not respond to enquiries which seek to confirm if individuals are under police investigation, on this occasion we can say that Mr Gayford is not and has not been the subject of any police inquiry, nor has he been charged in relation to any matter.”

Soon afterwards, Linda Clark, from the law firm engaged by Gayford, Kensington Swan, issued a statement saying that the allegations against him were “untrue and defamatory” and warning the media off publishing them. Clark is a former political editor of TVNZ and host of RNZ National’s Nine to Noon programme. She is also an occasional media commentator on politics. I can see that false rumours would have been very annoying and distracting for the government.

I am not sure whether the gossip at the water coolers and smoko rooms of the nation, as some in the media have suggestedsay?]]]

Commissioner Mike Bush

But media people love to gossip and it might have been sensible to address the rumours directly. Commissioner Bush’s statement indicated the rumours were false, but did not actually indicate what they were about. This in effect invited people to guess. In my opinion the statement from such a high placed public servant was risky.Has there been any transparency about how Bush came to take this extraordinary step? Maybe I have missed it.

If there had been a complaint, Would it have been impossible for police track down the gossipers. The police were obviously mentioned in the gossip so they might have deemed it appropriate for them to make a statement.

But by involving the commissioner – someone with a direct relationship with our political leaders – we seem to have taken a step too far.Maybe it was an extraordinary situation, but the statement from Bush makes it even more extraordinary.

Surely it would have been better to use one of the numerous assistant commissioners to make a statement.

Or maybe, to keep things even more simple, underlings from the public relations department/. Using the Police Commissioner to say “there is no story” looks like two bodies of state are acting in tandem.

× Featured

Paddy Is Leaving The Room. How Many Days To Go?

Will Jim Mather Hasten A More Maori RNZ?

CAPTION: Jim Mather with the his partner Annabel Lee, the executive producer of The Hui.

Jim Mather has been appointed chairman of Radio New Zealand. The new appointment comes at the end of an extended term for Richard Griffin  He held the post for two-three year terms and agreed to stay on for an extra year. The chairmanship of Radio NZ in the 2000-teens was difficult. The National Party starved Radio NZ of money and it had to sell assets. Finally the Nats relented.

Problems were resolved last year with extra funding in the Budget. When Labour got elected to lead the Government, the problem became too much political attention from Government, rather than too little.

Richard Griffin I

Griffin had been associated with National through his past role as press secretary to Jim Bolger. He had enjoyed good relationship withe Labour in the past. But he had never gotten on with Clare Curran, the new and pro-active minister of broadcasting. Curran formed an ambitious policy pf a new TV channel without talking Radio NZ/ Griffin and Radio NZ chief executive Paul Thompson resisted Labour plans to create the new TV channel. The Government and Radio NZ were looking in different directions. Then came the sudden departure of Carol Hirschfeld. The senior executive left after she was found her bosses about a meeting with Curran. It was a bizarre incident and we still do not know what happened

Clare Curran and Carol Hirschfeld

But it has left stain on the relationship between Radio NZ and the minister.

The upshot is that Jim Mather and the chief executive Paul Thompson will need to establish good relations with Labour before it can even try to maintain them. Mather may have the right manner for that approach. As chief executive of Maori Television for nine years. he maintained an efficient and mostly happy media workplace that spun out after he left. He went on to run the Maori educational body Te Waning o Aotearoa. He will not be as media savvy as Richard Griffin. But he knows people who know their way around. Mather is the partner of the Maori broadcaster Annabel Lee. who was executive producer for the Maori TV current affairs show Native Affairs. Currently she makes The Hui for TV3.

A key question now will be whether the appointment of Mather – a Maori – will hasten Radio NZ moves to increase its Maori content. That cause was promoted by Willie Jackson, a former leader of Maori broadcaster with past ties to Mather. Jackson is also a leader in the Maori Labour caucus and has close inks to Maori broadcasters.

Willie Jackson.

Radio NZ needs to better reflect Maori in its programming. But the Radio NZ networks are finely tuned to its listener.he question be whether Radio NZ can make changes and take existing listeners along with it. That was not the case last year when RNZ introduced of basic Maori language content . It was done without consultation with specific staff but little consultation with listeners. Some inside Radio NZ are wary that the top – management of RNZ – combined with the reforming zeal of Labour – lack the nuance and skills to create the transition to a more Maori Radio NZ.

 

 

× Featured

Paddy Is Leaving The Room. How Many Days To Go?

Can Radio New Zealand Trust Labour?

CAPTION: Clare Curran and Carol Hirschfeld.

Labour Party plans for big changes at Radio New Zealand are in a deep hole, after the Broadcasting Minister’s errant breakfast meeting with RNZ news boss Carol Hirschfeld.
Revelations about the encounter sparked a political storm, but Clare Curran has kept digging, and said this week that “this is a democracy” and she can meet with whomever she likes.
Th upshot is that Labour should consider abandoning its broadcasting policy, or the minister. There has been a breach of trust.

Can Labour implement its transformation of RNZ + ?

Curran’s breakfast with Hirschfeld, at the Astoria cafe on Wellington’s Lambton Quay, came two days before the minister was due to meet RNZ chairman Richard Griffin and chief executive Paul Thompson. Both men are known to be sceptical about Labour’s plans.

We don’t know the topics the two women discussed. It beggars belief, though, that either of them thought the breakfast date was acceptable.
The issue of most concern, however, is not that Hirschfeld attended an inappropriate meeting with a Cabinet minister. (There are strict rules against ministers trying to influence state-owned media.) It is that she repeatedly misled Thompson, her boss, by insisting that she had merely bumped into Curran at the Astoria. He, in turn, assured a parliamentary committee that the encounter had not been not pre-arranged.

Remember, this breakfast was back in December. Hirschfeld was then RNZ’s head of news and New Zealand was in the full flushes of Jacinda euphoria. The Labour Party, in its broadcasting policy, was dangling a $38 million funding carrot in front of RNZ.

But staff say that apart from Hirschfeld, RNZ’s top management was treating the policy – for a full-scale TV channel, RNZ Plus – with caution.

RNZ was right to accept Hirschfeld’s resignation. The incident has damaged the state broadcaster, which has long tried to overcome the overblown claims that it was biased in favour of the Left.

But RNZ staff I spoke to said Curran was getting off scot-free. Given the tensions between Curran and RNZ, should the PM step in to ensure Labour’s policy can be implemented?

eGriffin and Thompson have been wary of Labour’s plans for an RNZ TV channel. But in light of the Government’s belligerence on the issue, they couldn’t ignore the policy, and Hirschfeld was appointed to a new job overseeing the development of video, with a particular focus on Morning Report and Checkpoint.

Hirschfeld – who has a background in television – is said to have been a big supporter of the Labour proposal.
Staff I spoke to shared the concerns of Griffin and Thompson. They viewed the policy as unsustainable and feared it would take resources away from RNZ’s core skill base – radio.

The number of people watching video is so tiny that the cost cannot be justified. As one staffer said: “Ever since she [Hirschfeld] got here, it has been about putting in TV everywhere.”
More video content is seen as inevitable, but television is expensive and the proposed $38 million is a drop in the ocean.

Richard Griffin Inadvertantly lied to a select committee.

Now seems a strange time to be moving into the challenging TV business.
Labour’s policy rightly addresses a need for public broadcasting that is ignored under the present commercial-focused broadcast system.
But turning RNZ into a TV channel while ignoring Television New Zealand seems irrational.
Maybe with a minister cooperating with the RNZ board, such a move could be made to work.
But Curran’s action has severely threatened the trust relationship with RNZ. It is hard to see how RNZ Plus can proceed, under this minister at least.

 

× Featured

Paddy Is Leaving The Room. How Many Days To Go?

Genter Talks Like An Activist, Not A Minister

CAPTION: It is Activism 101. But dismissing citizens as “old white men” indicates Julie Anne Genter has not adjusted to her new role.

Green Party activists have been slow to adjust to the New World Order: a Labour-led government where they are part of the ruling coalition and not just agitators looking for attention.

Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter epitomised the mismatch this week with her comment that “old white men” should stand down to make way for more diverse corporate boards.

Stuff reported:

Women’s Minister Julie Anne Genter says old white men need to “move on” from company boards to help close the gender pay gap. Speaking to students at Christchurch’s Cobham Intermediate School on Thursday, Genter said the private sector needed to address the low level of female representation on New Zealand company boards if more businesses were to be led by women.About 85 per cent of board members were male, and many were “old white men in their 60s”.“Some of them need to move on and allow for diversity and new talent,” she said, later clarifying she had “no problem with old white men” on company boards generally.

It was a minister of the Crown talking to kids. It seems that “pale, stale males” ― as some other critics call them ― are ruining it for everyone again. It’s a bad call to dismiss a whole section of the population like that. It shows that she still hasn’t got to grips with her role.  Identity politics are not going to help resolve the equal pay issue. 

Genter is trying to be co co-leader of the Greens

I am ambivalent about the older male dominance of corporate boards. I can see the logic of encouraging more diverse people with diverse backgrounds. More worker involvement in business certainly works in Germany.

But whatever happens, the focus of corporate boards is going to remain on delivering profits to investors. Women directors will still make the same harsh decisions that men sometimes make. More-diverse boards will include clever people, but still include racists and sexists on occasion.I worry about the language used by Genter and the activist media. I’m not sure I want activists ― especially those who use terms like “old white men” ― telling businesses who they should not have leading them.

Removed from the double-speak of justification, the term “old white males” is ageist, racist and sexist. It is unnecessarily alienating.To her credit, Genter engaged with her critics. But she has an unfortunate tendency to think she knows better than everyone else and does not try to convince people she is listening. Her reaction does not generate optimism for the future. Genter is making her own bid to become joint leader of a party where deriding “old white men” and “pale, stale males” is acceptable. 

Her role as associate transport minister makes sense given her expertise in transport planning.

Genter is not alone in being stuck in the activist rut. Golriz Ghahraman and Chlöe Swarbrick have not moved on from being in election-campaign mode. Swarbrick has been accomplished as a new MP. But Genter and Swarbrick gave Parliament a firm ticking off when a majority of MPs did not back the Greens’ bid to partially legalise cannabis.

James Shaw doesn’t talk activist jargon.

They lost the vote, they screwed up. A politician’s job is to get people on their side, and they failed to do that. Likewise, the collapse of the Greens’ vote in the election after Metiria Turei’s confession about her questionable welfare and electoral issues is not blamed on a shambolic party, but on an errant media. The Greens are backed by whiny journalists and media commentators who target the hip activist audience to sell ads.

But she is a minister of the Crown and needs to talk to all New Zealanders – not just her pals on protest marches.

× Featured

Paddy Is Leaving The Room. How Many Days To Go?

Branding Checkpoint

CAPTION. Mary Wilson would have conducted a more rigorous interview with Renae Maihi.

The Checkpoint interview: https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/2018633295/we-ve-had-enough-of-racism-in-nz

 

RNZ star presenter John Campbell has worked hard to diminish the worst excesses of celebrity journalism from his days at Campbell Live on TV3. The editorialising. The personal takes.

Sir Robert Jones.

This week he interviewed a Rotorua filmmaker and writer Renae Maihi who is organising a petition to remove Sir Bob Jones knighthood because of his comments in a scrapped NBR column, deemed racist by some.  In my opinion the interview was deficient. It was more about identifying the branding of Campbell and Checkpoint than it was about debating an issue. Maihi was articulate – a media person – and capable of dealing with challenges to her position. It was a debate on free speech not feelings and Campbell should have challenged her assumptions. That is what Checkpoint would have done before Campbell when “Scary Mary” Wilson was in charge.

Checkpoint has some serious wins under Campbell, but Campbell reverts to chat when he agrees with protagonists.  I understand a change in approach to the show had been recognised when senior executive Gael Woods was at RNZ. Woods was made redundant last year and has lodged personal grievance case was due to be heard by the Employment Relations Authority in Wellington in April. A different approach seems to have won approval from senior management at RNZ.

Two weeks after the brouhaha over Bob Jones’ offending column in NBR. Checkpoint revisited the issue with a Skype article on Maihi who had organised the petition with 58,000 signatures. Jones has a reputation as a stirrer and publicity seeker.

Renea Maihi – writer and film-maker.

His column that included a small segment suggesting Maori should use Waitangi Day to show their gratitude to their colonisers. Jones’ insists it was satire. It was only online for a day before the NBR responded to criricism and took it down.  Jones resigned his commission with NBR.

Jacinda Ardern has said the government was not going to remove Jones’s knighthood. In that context, the ongoing story is a debate on freedom of speech . The main problem with the column was that I was not very good. Screen grabs of the offending article were on the internet. But it’s still not clear how many people actually read it in full; Maihi  is entitled to her view. But for seven minutes on Checkpoint we had the state broadcaster examining the hurt she felt – that people were saying such things 250 years after colonisation that hurt Maori people’s mana. She felt media should not publish material that was disparaging toward Maori. She did not buy the satire argument.

“We have to be very responsible what we are putting out in the media, We want people feeling good about it. To which some would say. that’s the price of freedom of speech.

“You just get to a point where we are still having to defend out mana, and we need to sort this out because it has to stop.  Messaging is very important,” Maihi said.

So this will no doubt add to the campaign for those who believe some things cannot be said.

Campbell related to Maihi’s angst, and that seemed to colour his interview. We were treated to an insight into the morals of Campbell household which he said had a policy to “not be a dick”. But it was a soft interview on an important topic. Freedom-of-speech versus the right to not be offended. There was no debate on the premise of the campaign: That the state should punish people who say things that cause offense to others. Checkpoint did not question whether opinion should be regulated.

In my opinion, this interview was more about branding for RNZ. Signalling its priorities. It’s what you would expect from The Project. The Wireless, and The Spinoff,  not Checkpoint.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

× Featured

Paddy Is Leaving The Room. How Many Days To Go?

Anti- Snowflake Peterson Transits To MSM

 

VIDEO: A British Channel 4 debate exposed a clash of cultures. It was a good bun fight.

 

In my last post, I mentioned how some journalists promote their own personal opinions and philosophies in their media. 

The University of Toronto, where Peterson Lois Professor of Psychology.

The emergence of the Canadian academic Jordan Peterson, a University of Toronto psychology professor, illustrate a wider change going on.  

I won’t dive too deep into Peterson’s views and philosophy. Broadly, he attacks what he sees as tyranny of political correctness, group-think and virtue-signalling bringing down free-thinking and individuality in western societies.

He claims a “post modernist” approach to disciplines in Western universities has heightened the growth of identity politics, the tendency for people to take offense all the time “snowflakes” and the growth of “safe spaces” where students can avoid ideas they find threatening.

His views have been rejected by some academics and by Left-focused journalists, who see it as part of a right-wing agenda associated with Donald Trump, white supremacy et al. His supporters say that is nonsense.

Peterson – presents an affable face as an articulate promoter of free thinking, But critics see him as a false prophet from the ‘alt right’. For his part he attacks the radical Left wing and “radical feminists” 

The battle between Peterson and the Left came to a head a while ago in an elf hour interview on Britain’s Channel 4.

Cathy Newman is a star interviewer at Channel 4 in Britain.

Channel 4 star interviewer Cathy Newman challenged Peterson,  but most observers concluded that she lost her barracking argument with the confident and affable academic.

Peterson remained calm and logical through scattergun and sometimes sharp argument from Newman.

To be fair, Newman was doing a standard job for a journalist interviewing an academic on MSM, trying to question him on the real world implications of his world view.

It was entertaining television – that was her mission – and she was a limited by liberal assumptions. 

Newman’s views were Leftish and feminist – as is the nature of the Channel 4 audience.

Her big failure was in underestimating Peterson’s sharp mind. Her approach was to treat him as a  loopy right-wing academic.

But he is a political figure, whose sometimes old-fashioned views about self-responsibility and dare I say it, common sense, strike a chord, especially with a male audience that watches his videos on You Tube,

I find his rationale and views intriguing. I am wary of his belligerance. I suppose, a baldly masculine rational view that could turn into a cult figure.

But the more that his detractors try to pull him down – the more you are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. 

New Zealand writer Danyl McLauchlan took  took a swing at Peterson in The Spinoff.

The Guardian produced a hit piece recently. In little old New Zealand the respected writer Danyl Mclauchlan had at him in kiwi liberal bible The Spinoff.

In the UK, the notoriously conservative Daily Mail recently produced a large and mostly positive profile of him.

Left and right-wing media seem to clustering for and against him.

Peterson growls that the “extreme Left wing” though supports things like free health care. He has a background in working class jobs, a stark contrast to many of his detractors.

Some aspects of his is mirrored by Brendan O’ Neill, the editor of a hybrid Marxist anti-liberal publication called spiked. 

As well as taking part in international debates and appearing on UK current affairs shows, O’Neill also writes for conservative media such as The Sun and The Spectator. Their views are becoming less academic and more mainstream.

,

,

× Featured

Paddy Is Leaving The Room. How Many Days To Go?

Old White Men: They Just Ruin Everything

During an introspective moment tending to the barbecue, I concluded that Society is in the middle of a revolution. We are re-assessing the meaning of “Truth” and the role of public institutions in maintaining it. It’s no great analysis, I know. The amazing political, social, technological and media changes are been debated  in all corners of the Internet. New Zealand faces the same existential issues as the rest of the world. And we are stumbling through them in our own way. 

Continue reading “Old White Men: They Just Ruin Everything”

× Featured

Paddy Is Leaving The Room. How Many Days To Go?

Let’s keep an eye on the new State TV channel

CAPTION . Can Broadcasting minister Clare Curran ensure that the new RNZ TV is independent?

channel

Call me a doubting Thomas, but I’m wary about government plans to establish a new TV channel with public broadcasting values. The National Party neglected broadcasting for nine years, and punished Radio New Zealand by starving it of funding. However,  I worry that Labour will be too hands on.

I can understand that RNZ is grateful that Labour is promising expansion with a new TV channel to run in tandem with its radio and digital arm.

But politicians have a love affair with TV, and the public should maintain a sceptical eye on how Labour runs its new low budget TV channel. Labour needs to spell out again how the new channel will be independent and non- partisan.

John Campbell will likely be a star of RNZ TV

Labour has promised  it will be independent. But we need some more details before its plans for a new public media commission are pushed into place. The surprising Labour manifesto item developed late in the piece turned swiftly into policy,  and now it has turned into action. When the policy was announced two weeks before the election, few thought Labour would win.

Labour discussions included the Coalition for Better Broadcasting and academics including Dr Peter Thompson, a media lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington.. I guess that other cultural folk and individual broadcasters would have been asked. But RNZ itself was not consulted, nor were Fairfax and MediaWorks, which have complained that the creation of another state TV channel  will make it hard for commercial channels to achieve scale.

Private sector objections are no a reason to scuttle the plan. The New Zealand public has been diddled for decdes with NZ On Air commercial TV shows ignoring the need for genuine public interest media. And journalism is in trouble. We need to be careful the government profiles a solution and does not make the problems worse. 

 

Kim Hill has TV experience.

Curran said that Labour had set aside $38 million had been set aside for the new channel in the upcoming budget. It s a very small amount given the costs associated with starting a TV channel. Curran has talked encouragingly about setting up a public media funding committee for RNZ +, distinct from NZ on Air,  to allocate funding for projects. The Ministers office says that the appointees to that Commission will decided by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The makeup of the Commission – and the definition on what RNZ + will show, will decide the integrity of RNZ +.

it is essential that Labour and RNZ take a wide interpretation of pubic broadcasting and serves the wider audience – including working class people. Curran insists that the Public Media Commission will be apolitical and independent. But the public need to be sure that RNZ + does not solely become a vehicle for identity and interest groups,  and the ideological liberal view of the world that has dominated at RNZ.

New Zealand media is at a pivotal point and Labour is enjoying an extended honeymoon with the media. Globally there are big changes afoot with the growth of big social campaigns.  We need to ensure that RNZ + stands apart from ideological fashion – it remains objective and sceptical in the tradition of public broadcasting, dealing with different points of view.

Will Wallace Chapman get a TV show?

The NZ Herald reported yesterday that RNZ is already facing big challenges, in part over the costs for its existing focus on televising existing radio shows, such as Checkpoint. There have been question marks over the potential for a pro- Left bias in the RNZ digital product.

Clare Curran and Labour may do a fabulous job  creating a new  public broadcasting service, however, in my opinion,  there is good reason for the public to keep an eye on how RNZ+ develops. 

× Featured

Paddy Is Leaving The Room. How Many Days To Go?