CAPTION: The former PM and the new leader. Campaigners for public media made a bad call promoting Helen Clark as it’s champion.
You have to admire any organisation that makes the effort to help debate on an important topic – like the need for better public media. I have the greatest respect for Mark Jennings, and some of the other panelists for the Better Public Media Trust debate, and their role in eliciting responses for change to the way we promote journalism. Panelist Jennings in brings the credibility of a working journalist to bear, and more power to his sword, I say. However. the focus on Helen Clark in a press statement today raises questions about where this organisation is at, where it has been and where it is going to. The utterances of a partisan politicians are surprising. Are there no people in the community who can address the need for independent journalism other than a former Party political leader, let alone one who has associated herself so much with the new government? There has long been a tendency in journalist debate over public broadcasting to be anti-business, anti-conservative and pro-Left. That is a natural abbertion. But there is no need to get a Labour politicians in to emphasise the bias. As PM, Helen Clark led a whole army of people in government to manipulate the views of journalists and the public. That was her job Better Public Media needs to ensure that it remains bi-partisan and represents the values of all New Zealanders and show that it will not get caught up with other agendas. The Better Public Media Trust and the allied group the Coalition for Better Broadcasting was an organisation that contributed to the Labour Party policy on broadcasting that includes an emphasis on Radio New Zealand and the development of an RNZ TV service. The new service to be called RNZ Plus will be funded with an extra $38 million from taxpayers this year.
This is an abridged version of the press release today the Better Public Media Trust today.