The Communications and Broadcasting Minister, Clare Curran, has released her Public Media Panel to look at how we will fund journalism as part of the new Government’s ‘Public Media Funding Commission’.
This matters in an age of fake news and social media ignorance however the 4 selections so far are so underwhelming I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry…
The other four confirmed members of the advisory were named on Sunday as Tower chairman Michael Stiassny, former deputy State Services commissioner Sandi Beatie, former RNZ deputy chairman Josh Easby, and freelance television consultant Irene Gardiner.
…one of the major problems we have in NZ is that NZ on Air makes gaining funding for Journalism very difficult if you aren’t on a free to air channel and the other glaring issue is that those who get the funding always tend to be a certain class of media.
Very, very, very middle class and this panel look so middle class it buys volcano salt and Metro’s Best Schools and Top 50 Restaurants editions religiously. The atrociously middle class Spinoff and Villainesse blogs already get money from NZ on Air and a panel as lacking in curiosity as this one will come out with a solution to give them even more money.
We need a fourth estate that is going to hold the powerful to account and challenge abuses of power. We also need it to critically examine the neoliberal economic, cultural and political hegemony in a way that is accessible for all Kiwi’s and not just politics geeks.
We need a panel who will re-invent the public square, not tick boxes in a pretence of looking like something is changing. We need to use TV far better than it’s currently being used in association with social media as solutions and I don’t see this panel managing that.
I would have put Dr Gavin Ellis, Dr Merja Myllylahti, Professor Wayne Hope, Paula Penfold, Leonie Hayden and Russell Brown onto the panel.
This is too important to screw up and too important to just hand more money over to middle class blogs rather than expand beyond social media bubbles.
I await their report with interest.