It has become very clear in the run up to this year’s election that we need better broadcasting and news media coverage of politics. The Campaign for Better Broadcasting has organised a series of public debates (with MPs from various parties) throughout Aoteatora, beginning this Friday in Dunedin.
He was critical of the use of “anonymous” sources. In this case the source was labelled as “the insider”, who had claimed the Labour caucus was unhappy with David Cunliffe’s 3 day ski holiday.
Ellis is highly critical that the reporter went with the story based on one informant. Good journalists would aim to triangulate the story using at least 2 other credible sources. Ex-Parliamentary reporter, Nine-to-Noon’s Kathryn Ryan verified that should be best practice. I would also add that the other 2 sources should be people with firsthand knowledge of aspects of the story, and not people that are part of the Nats’ black-ops smear machine.
Ryan pointed out that, for such stories, a reporter needs to consider who the source is, and what their motivations are in coming forward with complaints about party colleagues.
This RNZ critique highlights two things: that RNZ is the last lingering remnants of a better public broadcasting in NZ; and the highly skewed reporting that we have been getting going into this year’s election.
Television is still the main way a high proportion of Kiwis get their news. In the last week, The Campaign for Better Broadcasting reinforced this in an article on TV viewing in NZ.
But this week NZ on Air released research confirming what I have long believed. That the traditional television channels are hugely important still, and continue to be in the future. Each day 83% of all Kiwis watch the regular television channels compared to just 30% who click on YouTube and a mere 6% watching Online TV such as Apple TV and Netflix. Audiences may be time-shifting but they are still watching old-school, traditional television en masse. And that is where our broadcasting policy needs to be tightly focussed.
They were wrong about TVNZ7 viewer numbers, they were wrong that most TVNZ7 programmes would continue on other channels, and they were wrong about how Kiwis watch television. That eliminates all the government’s excuses for closing down TVNZ 7.
I do think that online platforms need to be part of any public broadcasting or media policy.
The Green Party Broadcasting Policy is foregrounded with a statement about how recent governments have gradually whittled away the last remnants of public broadcasting, and supported commercial media. The Greens Policy follows the orginal BBC Reith outline of Entertain, Educate and Inform.
We need a strong, diverse and independent media that contributes to the maintenance of effective democracy and Aotearoa New Zealand’s social, cultural, economic and environmental well-being.
The Internet Party is focused on maximising the democratic use of online capabilities.
The first Broadcasting Debate is Friday 25 July, 3.00 pm in Dunedin:
In the Media Production Studio, Owheo Building, 133 Union St East (Otago University).
with Kris Faafoi -Labour,
Julie Anne Genter – Greens,
Richard Prosser – NZFirst
Hosted by TV3 Reporter, Dave Goosselink.
Members of the public are invited to attend.
Those unable to attend can watch the debate live (and afterwards) via vote chat
You can also send in your questions:
via twitter @OUVoteChat or #votechat14
or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Further meetings are planned:
Monday August 11th at 4.30pm,
St Johns-in-the-City Hall, cnr Willis St and Dixon St, Wellington CBD
Debate with Craig Foss – Minister of Broadcasting, Kris Faafoi – Labour Broadcasting, Julie Anne Genter – Greens Broadcasting.
Auckland and Christchurch
Later in August/September