The Coalition for Better Broadcasting is calling on the government and Minister of Broadcasting Amy Adams to make 2015 the year it gives back to Radio NZ and its many, many listeners.
Recent research shows that Radio NZ National now has more Kiwis listening to it than any other radio station, and for longer periods each day. But those listeners could soon hear cuts to their favourite radio programmes unless funding to Radio NZ is increased.
“Radio NZ is at a crossroads. It can either adapt, survive and fulfil its obligations to New Zealand or be forced to slowly shutdown” said CBB Chief Executive Myles Thomas.
“Radio NZ’s stations and online output are increasingly popular with more and more New Zealanders tuning in and 88% saying Radio NZ is important to NZ. The public deserves a better-funded public broadcaster that can maintain the current radio programmes while establishing a comprehensive online presence.
“Technology has changed and audiences are too. Radio NZ must meet the new demand with up-to-the-minute news, radio and media content that stands up against international competition and fulfils its important role as a reputable national broadcaster.”
For seven years Radio NZ funding has been frozen at levels that even at the time were acknowledged as too low. As inflation and costs rise, the freeze has meant an effective cut of 10% to Radio NZ’s budget. Chief Executive, Paul Thompson has admitted his organisation is running out of efficiencies and told the government that current funding was not sufficient beyond June 2015.
“If Radio NZ is to survive another 80 years it must be able to expand into online media and beyond. Improved funding in the 2015 Budget is essential.”
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