The Daily Blog tip line is running hot that NZ on Air has pulled funding for Media3, Backbenchers and Q&A. If Q&A is seriously on the block then that means The Nation will also be for the chop.
If this sudden axing of every current affairs show on all networks is happening, either two things have occurred…
1: NZ on Air has gone mad and decided to kill off all current affairs in the lead up to an election year and will have done so under vast amounts of pressure from the Government who don’t want the risk of any critical media in what will be a close election.
2: Richard Griffin has managed to pull off the greatest coup for public broadcasting since the creation of Radio NZ.
I don’t think it can be option 1. If anything, Seven Sharp has generated so much resentment at the dumbing down of news, it’s almost inconceivable that NZ on Air would risk a backlash as severe as the one that erupted from their perceived acquiescence to National over the Child Poverty Documentary by killing off all the current affairs shows.
I think – and this is simply a guess – I think that the sudden pulling of the funding for all these shows means that Richard Griffin’s vision of a Radio NZ TV station utilizing the down time of Parliament TV is about to be realized and launched.
This could be the best thing ever to happen to current affairs. A dedicated political channel with a wide range of interview shows creates an opportunity to hold politicians to account and critique policy in a way that simply isn’t being done is something our country is screaming out for.
Interesting times ahead.