New Zealand’s lower media freedom ranking “alarming” – Massey University

By   /   May 3, 2017  /   3 Comments

TDB recommends Voyager - Unlimited internet @home as fast as you can get

New Zealand’s drop out of the top 10 ranking of nations respecting media freedom is indicative of reasons including a growing trend for government agencies to try and hide information from the public.

New Zealand’s drop out of the top 10 ranking of nations respecting media freedom is indicative of reasons including a growing trend for government agencies to try and hide information from the public.

On the eve of World Press Freedom day tomorrow (May 3), Dr Catherine Strong from Massey University’s School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, describes the decline as “alarming” and says the lower ranking serves as a warning for New Zealand’s public bodies to take democratic freedoms seriously.

International journalists organisation Reporter Without Borders dropped New Zealand down five places from eighth to 13th on a global register of 180 countries it annually surveys measuring the basic principles of press freedom.

“Our lower standing is due to the growing list of government agencies trying to hide information by thwarting the Official Information Act, and these agencies are ruining our reputation,” Dr Strong says.

The Ombudsman’s Office however has started releasing detailed lists of every complaint in an effort to encourage departments to improve their public accountability process.

Dr Strong says New Zealand still practices way-more media freedom than most of the world but in an era where the media’s credibility was challenged with “alternative facts” and allegations of “fake news,” she warned against complacency.

“The recent criticism of the way police handle rape cases currently in the media just wouldn’t be allowed in most countries in the world, so we are lucky to have the spotlight put on problems that need rectifying,” she says.

For further information go here. 

***
Want to support this work? Donate today
***
Follow us on Twitter & Facebook
***

3 Comments

  1. SpaceMonkey says:

    Chief among them is the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet who set the standard under John Key and from which the others have taken their cue.

    They need to clean up their act or else be torn down.

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      Is there time for Labour/Green/NZ First and others to place an application to be filed in the High Court for taking over half of the Public Broadcasting Media through TVNZ/RNZ for the public interest in ensuring a fair balanced public broadcasting ahead of September General Election???

  2. Paul Judge says:

    Dirty politics and the neoliberal corporate dominated media – we’ve known this for a while now, seen most clearly during the 2014 election. Real investigative journalists in this country are few and far between, and it is almost impossible to get an alternative view published in the mainstream press. The domination of the airwaves and primetime TV slots with right leaning shockjocks or mindless reality shows is central to the problem.