MEDIA WATCH: Can someone please wake up the Minister for Broadcasting & Why RNZ-NZoA Citizen’s Handbook highlights all that is wrong in the current NZ media culture 


Can someone please wake up the Minister for Broadcasting…

Australia to force technology giants Facebook and Google to pay for news content

Social media giants Facebook and Google will be forced to pay Australian media companies for sharing their content or face sanctions under a landmark decision by the Morrison government.

The move comes as the media industry reels from tumbling advertising revenue, already in decline before the Covid 19 coronavirus outbreak collapsed the market.

Australia will become the first government to impose a legal regime including financial penalties for digital platforms that profit from content produced by the news media.

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The federal Government has instructed competition watchdog, the ACCC, to develop a mandatory code of conduct for the digital giants to adhere to.

…the fundamental problem is that the advertising market has been bled dry by Google and Facebook while being owned by vulture capitalists who are only interested in using profits to cover the debt they’ve used to buy the companies.

Labour are allergic when it comes to big ideas needed to combat neoliberalism and market failure, they need to inoculate and inoculate fast because some huge ideas need to be invested in to see the media market stabilise.

1 – Public Funded Media in the nations interest

The RNZ-TVNZ merger should be occurring immediately with the following inclusions.

      • TV1 commercial free (so existing advertising can go to Mediaworks).
      • RNZ launch a commercial free youth radio station.
      • RNZ/TVNZ launch a 24 hour news station on one of their existing Freeview+ channels.

2 – Tax Google & Facebook and ring fence that for direct funding of corporate journalism

Google & Facebook charged a percentage on all revenue from NZ, that money is specifically ring fenced to a contestable fund available to established Media to specifically provide Fourth Estate Journalism.

3 – NZ on Air ‘Read between the Flags’ Kiwi journalism 

In a world of disinformation, we need journalism we can trust. We all get the ‘swim between the flag’ model of surf life saving, NZ on Air should be given extra funding for ‘Read between the flags’ Kiwi Journalism. This money is to break the current elite opinion NZ on Air circle jerk and provide revenue for smaller blogs and citizen journalism who become eligible if they agree to a set of Journalistic Principles. If you do agree and sign up, you are entitled to funding and must have a Kiwi Journalism flag on your site to show you are obliged to the Journalistic Principles Code of conduct.

You would have an awareness campaign to urge NZers to ‘read between the flags’ for trusted information.

The NZ population has always been too small for advertiser funded journalism, it has ALWAYS needed State support, add a broken market where vulture capitalists use media profits to pay the interest on their debt and you have a hollowed out Fourth Estate that can’t be a watchdog to anything other than their self interest.

As for NZ on Air & RNZs ‘The Citizens Handbook’, isn’t it a slap in the face for the public funders to be vomiting sanctimonious wank like this up at a time when the entire media industry is on its knees?

If you thought Spinoff TV was bad, sweet Jesus the barely watched Citizens Handbook with  7000 views (which then halves for the second episode) is the same type of undeservedly self important Wellington wank we’ve all come to know and despise.

Now I appreciate I’m not the target market for Citizens Handbook, clearly this is for those who love the ‘talent factory’ of ZM, the Edge morning breakfast madhouse and people who think the Project is current affairs.

Don’t get me wrong, spending $400 000 for smug holier-than-thou preachy pious bullshit is totally RNZs DNA, but why can’t we get real satire and not the overproduced woke circle jerk that the Citizens Handbook descends into within seconds?

Why can’t we have real satire, like this…

…any move to reform Broadcasting needs to allow those outside the NZ on Air clique to be able to actually gain funding so that dross like Spinoff TV and Citizens Handbook aren’t the only options.


  1. > Now I appreciate I’m not the target market for Citizens Handbook,

    No, you’re not Bomber and neither am I. This is clearly aimed at millenials who didn’t even get the benefit of the minimal civics education we got at school. I’m one of those thousands who only saw the first episode, but I will be encouraging my daughter to watch it.

    If Robby Nichol isn’t your speed, fair enough. But the value of the first episode alone makes the funding worthwhile, as it provides a link I can sling at anyone who is making Don-Brash-a-like noises online. Maybe try comparing the public broadcasting money spent on this to what it costs to produce a season of Country Calendar, just to let car companies slap their ecocidal branding all over it.

    • Re: Country Calendar funding according to nz onair.
      “The latest series received $538,384 funding.”

      Bear in mind this is for roughly 40 eps (based on last years numbers), so breaks down to around $13.5K public money per episode.
      Hyundai probably contributes around the same directly per ep as you looking around 30K+ absolute minimum to produce a program of this quality. (plus spot adverts during @ around 15K+ each 30s for a primetime program)

      yeah, I have lots of time my hands at the moment, am a TV technician and understand the numbers game in my world..

  2. We agree entirely with your proposals Martyn.
    Labour have been totally vacant and ‘sleep walking’ with their promised “TV7 type public affairs free to air non comercial media”.

    Not beging this to fruition during their time in Government, has massively damaged us all, and have left us without a voice sadly, – and this will damage our chances of getting any cut-through during the election and possibly looosing the election through their folly. Blame must begin with Clare Curran.

  3. …the fundamental problem is that the advertising market has been bled dry by Google and Facebook while being owned by vulture capitalists who are only interested in using profits to cover the debt they’ve used to buy the companies.

    That is a shameless expose of what is so wrong, so unfair, in our present economic era Martyn. How many people understand and acknowledge to themselves how their great dividends on their shares are being extracted.

    I hate the thought of live bears being ‘bled’ their bile for some medicine in Asia. But think of how our economies and businesses are being bled by heartless, soulless crooks who are legally allowed to steal our lives and our various needs and tools for the life we have adopted, and then sell them back to us. It’s like a mafia trick; pay up and we will give you protection.

  4. RNZ is too far gone. Forget nationalising them, they got an extra 10 million already from our taxes and blew it on the .2% wokesters while jettisoning their previous support.

    There is zero point the state supporting mainstream media outlets – they are just too far gone.

    Bring on UBI for creatives in NZ instead (art, media, music, drama, dance etc) and let them form collaboratives and work out the content with each other.

    Help those in media on the coal face who have not sold out yet, they can have a UBI (while not a large wage at least a lot more secure) which is better than nothing and the current zero hour media contacts (aka paid per article/word and free labour via internships).

    The Netherlands has a UBI for artists, NZ should follow.(But because our media and general arts is pathetic here will probably also need to include all the creatives in NZ, as they are often earning less than minimum wages!)

    At the end of the day our government places zero value on the arts and media here. They are more interested in pumping money into liquor stores and takeaway shops in their Thatcher obsessions, constant bailouts for airlines etc to get more cheap labour into NZ, than the Listener for $1.

    Listener from woke to broke.

    Let that be a lesson to them all.

    • G unit, you’re making my argument for me. The public subsidy for Country Calendar is symbolic, it’s target audience are attractive enough to advertisers to fund itself without any public,money. A web series presenting civics education to young people, whose entire production cost is equivalent to the symbolic subsidy CC gets, is precisely the sort of media we need more public funding of, not less.

      > RNZ is too far gone. Forget nationalising them

      RNZ is already publicly owned.

      > they got an extra 10 million already from our taxes and blew it on the .2% wokesters while jettisoning their previous support.

      This is meaningless whinging. What public broadcasting policy would you pursue as Minister of Broadcasting? Policy, policy, policy!

  5. It’s clever this The Citizens Handbook and dispenses information in a format that is familiar and has proved popular with the audience that likes a light touch on anything it watches. Rather like Mum mixing despised carrots in with the mince for the hamburgers so the good stuff gets through and the family gets some healthy stuff in their food.

    It’s kindergarten about how society arranges itself and why things are how they are. Probably it has to be framed the way it is to get through to people who see only the life that fits in the palm of their hand. Will they ever realise that actually it is immense. Also that the smart ones on earth got bored before they finished their learnings and sat the exam, and have shot off on escapades over the Rim to Outer Space. What we need is to re-employ Truant Officers to bring them to book.

    Probably it would be classed as Reality Television by the handlers and sorters of modern media.

  6. If New Zealand had a merchant fleet and ship building enterprise of her own then we wouldn’t have to put all our eggs in China and now corona has given NZ all the reason to build a merchant fleet of her own.

    Post treaty settlement farmers are remarkably unprepared to fight a global pandemic let alone fight a real war. With no way to stop infectious disease from ravaging the population the boarders had to be closed to foreigners and kiwis immediately lose the right to freedom of movement. This lose of freedom should build the backbone of a merchant fleet to carry our freedoms on (long live Jacinda).

    While individuals like the pink haired scientists and directors of public health are important, no one is more important than Jacidna. When everyone has given up hope she finds it. Had Jacinda not given her Climate Change speech it is very possible NZ1st would not have joined Labour and the Greens and neoliberalism wouldn’t have had a crack in it.

    Of course neoliberalism can rely on 30 trillion in reinforcements from fveyes nations and should be considered the largest propaganda network ever assembled which is exactly what the analytical mind should be waiting for and before the lies start infecting kiwi brains those minds should have already been satanised and inoculated with Bombers Media strategy. See above.

    New Zealand pays a heavy price for trade. China demands 50% of our capital, America has 50% tariffs, just for $60 billion dollars. And with out a merchant fleet of our own there’s no way around that. But most importantly a merchant fleet is an essential service and far more efficient than air freight, especially at a time when AirNZ is reducing its fleet by about half, or even more. So there are very complicated changes that must happen.

    This is why we need to go full Savage. Mr Savage knew that New Zealand didn’t have much energy resources so he and successive governments have borrowed billions in order to power a modern economy and in this economy you shouldn’t be borrowing anymore than 5x your annual income which would give you plenty of time to save for retirement and live relatively comfortable lives. If you haven’t been keeping up that’s a 300 billion energy policy. That would be over and above what the government has already planned for infrastructure spending including NZDFs, The Foreign Ministries, The Shane Jones AND the James Shaw fund so there’s about $70 billion in spending and it should be doubled for each project.

    Plus a UBI and tax adjustments we are talking about 500 billion dollars of government spending over the next 15 years while at the same time maintaining the government budget at 30% of GDP until unemployment drops to 4%.

    300 billion on energy you might ask, yeah. The rule of thumb is it costs 1 million to generate 1 megawatt of renewables, 1 million for the associated infrastructure (batteries, land, and stuff) and 1 million for the new power lines, that’s about how much it would cost to fully electrify New Zealand’s transportation networks. We’d still keep our hydro dams but we need extra capacity to charge vehicles and run an IT economy on top of our export economy, an economy that leverages every town with electric roads, electric rail, a bio diesel port, and a biofuel airport. We can jump into the science that backs renewable transportation energy if anyone likes, Iv done that her many times before but anyone, anywhere in New Zealand should be able to produce $240,000 worth of stuff and send it anywhere in the world. These entrepreneurs won’t earn that much but once they’ve payed off creditors, taxes and outgoings means producing $240,000 is enough to maintain someone’s salary at the average about $50,000p/a sustainably.

    100,000 of these guys, gals, producing essential products and services while the other 100,000 thousand unemployed could be sent into the industrial sector would revolutionise the economy.

    This is a long comment, $500 billion is to much money. Most people will give you 20 reasons why something will end up failing (that’s before death cult capitalists chyme in). They’ll talk about frivolous spending on The Grand Fleet of communism, they’ll talk of suspensions of freedoms and they’ll talk of communism and beliefs in dark arts and magic. They’ll also talk about key moments in history when lefties in particular make mistakes like Rogernomics. Yknow RWNJ can bring a pea shooter and we can bring bazookas.

    Now these are all valid points and observations but corona virus is just a small part in the larger failure of neoliberalism. But very few historians will talk about the ultimate failure of neoliberalism to combat corona.

    Now why does unrest occur and why do seemingly normal people disrupt their own lives to go out and oppose a government? This is an extremely important question to answer when you’re trying to end a global pandemic. A smart leader understands that a dictator with complete authoritarian control is still some what accountable to the people they govern. Identifying root causes of problems will allow descent to be countered effectively and also address any problems in your own style of rule.

    An inflexible leader who’s completely unwilling to compromise will either be deposed or will be forced to enact such extreme rule we end up calling them Assade 2.0.

    At the beginning of neoliberalism everything seemed to go okay, there was very little unrest and debt was being paid. Neoliberalism’s repayment scheme centred around shrinking the government while at the same time expanding private sector borrowing. All of this spending soothed any concerns that the economy was heading into wave after wave of recessions and even a depression. You see in the year leading up to corona New Zealand was on the verge of paying back all the governments debts. Just 4 more years and the government would have been debt free. But with this control of spending and borrowing the Prime Minister can embark on the largest projects New Zealand has ever seen and apart of that is to take control of New Zealand’s energy sector and Merchant fleet in order to reduce the cost of having to pay China and America just to keep our trade routes open which as the Chines and America military growth is concerned that is a cost that is rapidly growing.

    Those that show support for a massive multi hundred billion dollar spend up on energy and transport will see progress in there businesses, sustainable profit, and growth. Those who oppose projects of this scale usually wear tinfoil hats while listening to Mike Hoskings under a 5G tower. Mean while the total global death toll of corona has moved past 150,000.

    The restriction on our human rights has massively changed the way the economy functions. So there has never been a more clear example of why human rights is so, so important to the way an economy performs and why Mike Hosking’s wears tinfoil hats. Overnight the central government has become the employer of last resort and what the people decide will be what they get. One of the first things the government has to do is double the number of students in polytechnics or university, and not just double the numbers, pass rates has to improve by greater than 95%. So we can’t just increase the number of student places we have to improve teacher pay and student facilities. The economy has no use for unskilled labour any more. Tourism used to take up most if not all New Zealand’s uneducated people and that’s gone.

    A weak government and lack of oversight and regulation means opportunities are abundant for anyone hungry for it and no one is more hungry than the Auckland Councils private real estate investors (Yknow what the fuck I mean) along with special tax exemptions has lead to cronyism, corporate hitmen and massive inequality. But still things seemed better under neoliberalism than it would have under communism.

    Now during global crises it’s obvious that governments naturally move towards a war economy. In WW2 capitalist nations pushed huge amounts of private sector workers in to the public sector for the war efforts. In WW1 car maker Renault agreed to supply France with tanks at cost, Henry Ford made similar moves in America and Germany used Jews as slave labour just to keep up (didn’t death cult capitalists like Mike Tinfiol Hosking’s advocate for slave wages to keep up? Anyway).

    In the short term war economies can generate large economic boost through Keynesian spending. Some might argue that it wasn’t the New Deal created by F.D.R that ended the Great Depression but the start of hostilities in WW2 but the massive amount of military spending also helped. And increases in taxes, war bonds and super sharp increases in spending didn’t hurt the recovery at all. Following Pearl Harbour the US experienced 3 years of double digit growth where as the Finance Minster of NZ today would ask for 10-20% growth over 3 years just to inoculate the reduction in GDP from corona. But we are asking for the war like responses in peace time.

    Granted GDP isn’t that great a measure because a lot of politicians will try and skew the numbers to favour them and make rivals look bad. GDP has been held up as a wonderful thing but it has given close to no value to doctors, nurses, teachers and fire fighters and now small government mentality isn’t so great. Sure military spending isn’t a very good value metric but hundreds of billions in industrial policy and energy policy which lowers the cost of transportation and gives the vast majority of kiwis access to cheap transportation is far more valuable.

    Efficient economic growth should have a multiplying effect on the economy. Efficient transportation decreases travel time and increases productivity, some people can turn there own automobile into an uber business (or digital to transport) as in taxi drivers or delivery drivers which further creates services for those who don’t have cars or can’t drive. This will increase the range of those people and give businesses a much wider reach and more opportunities to grow as well.

    New Zealand can not compete with the large G20 populations and post corona those flaws are especially acute so we will always get outmuscled by heavier economies which forces us to be much, much faster than we’re used to being. Yes speed as in travel time is important but I’m talking About the turn around of the whole New Zealand logistics system. Fast air travel is wonderful but how many have had luggage go missing or flight delays and disruptions? Corona has presented New Zealanders with a once in a life time opportunity to ask what is the most efficient and effective transport pool and actually build it.

    Now I would be a hypocrite if I only used GDP so if we look at the All Blacks pacific island players kiwi players are far more successful and because of our geographical and generic closeness we can say that that difference in success can be attributed to malnutrition, lack of education and lack of health care. So after decades of trying to maintain neoliberalism, education and health is in serious stagnation. Now this is in no small way to do with a massive amount of the workforce being involved in inflating the balance sheets of foreign investors. That means a lot of spending and innovation and a lack of that economic multiplier we were talking about.

    What makes corona even more special is the realization that the Chines and American military industrial complex isn’t designed to fight each other, rather than suppress its own people. Even if Trump wasn’t president the need to jail darkies would have over inflated U.S GDP figures anyway. By now every liberal western democracy has lost its right to rule because there’s no type of neoliberal reform that can save the people from corona. We know this and it must harden our resolve against those who goes against us (like tinfoil Hoskings)

    A lot of times the political economy focuses on fear and emotion when in reality the governments one job is to create a safe and stable system for its people to prosper and in this case we must demand Jacinda succeeds.

  7. Sam. “The government’s one job is…”
    In theory Sam. Not in practice. Government as we interpret it to be, has become a veneer for corporate interests, masquerading as democracy. I’m amazed you can’t see the reality. Neo liberal has married socialism haha.

    • So I always go with the consensus on theoretical calculations because it’s just an ad hoc of stuff we don’t need. This type of philosophy doesn’t really do anything which is why scientists just reject political ideology wholesale. You’re, PhillJ, pretty much just adding in properties to my TL;DR comment that no one needs.

      So I’m not a democrat or a republican. It’s interesting for me to sit between them which may sound confusing but only if you can ignore the fact that a response to a pandemic requires a global response. So rich nations must insure that poorer nations get enough medical resources to genocide corona on a global scale. In conjunction with a vaccine, genociding corona is all anyone one should be concerned about and this will cost a low of money.

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