MEDIA WATCH: Ummmm – sorry to be ‘that’ guy, but why should we bail out foreign owned media in NZ?


The Government announced a $50million package to support the rapidly imploding media market in New Zealand yesterday and the funniest thing about the announcement was the screaming questions Kris Faafoi faced from Fairfax journalists demanding to know why they aren’t being given much of the $50million package.

Listening to the journalists squeal at Kris did however bring up a pretty simple question, why on earth should NZ Taxpayers bail out foreign owned corporate media?

This is the same media corporate media who empowered Cameron Slater and the Dirty Politics plague.

The same mainstream corporate media whose very first editorial in the NZ Herald called on white people to fight Māori.

The same corporate mainstream media who had a journalist pretend to be a counsellor so as to trick a waitress into giving them a story to protect John Key and ran with it despite being told the interview was taken under false pretences.

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The same mainstream corporate media who have always given voice to the free market acolytes and the bankers and the farmers.

The same mainstream corporate media who have real estate pimps pushing speculation.

The same mainstream corporate media who have been toothless watchdogs to power.

The same mainstream corporate media who insinuated the Prime Minister of NZ covered up a serious sexual assault.

The same mainstream corporate media who already take NZ on Air funding to endlessly recycle elite opinions between the RNZ-Spinoff-Newsroom publicly funded cultural oligarchy.

So why are we bailing out Australian owned foreign media again?

Shouldn’t NZ be pumping money into NZ owned media, Maori media and community media?

Why should we bail out foreign owned media who can simply cut their losses and walk at any stage?

Corporate media would bray that they are the Fourth Estate holding the powerful to account, but Alison Mau publishing her 30 000th column on how shit men are feels less like journalism and more like virtue signalling masochism. We already have The Spinoff for that, why pay an Australian Company for more of it?

Nicky Hager does more journalism in one book than most journalists in corporate media manage in a year.

The problem foreign owned media face in NZ is a market failure, and their existence and dominance here IS PART OF THAT MARKET FAILURE!

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 and the hollowing out of journalism by the financialization of that free market is a challenge that looks beyond the capacity of the Minister, who despite Australia considering one of my ideas below, still doesn’t seem to know what to do.

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.

Big ideas are needed, unfortunately Kris Faafoi isn’t a ‘big ideas’ kinda chap.

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  1. why on earth should NZ Taxpayers bail out foreign owned corporate media?

    Absofrigginlutely!! ASK that question – Every Kiwi – Please ask it, – of yourself, of everyone you meet!

    In some ways, AO/ NZ seems hell-bent on acting against our own best interests!!

    This is just one of those ways – One very noteworthy example.

  2. Why bail them out?
    It’s election year silly, what better way to get even more pro Govt stories.

  3. Why on earth should NZ Taxpayers bail out foreign owned corporate media?

    ****Because we finally need to have a public funded true “public affairs TV7 type “peoples voice channel” to cover all regional public affairs stories”.

    **One issue that needs urgent coverage is the commmunities of HB/Gisborne who lost their public passenger and freight rail services in 2012 to Gisborne.

    Since the damage and closure to this vital rail service was caused by a storm; – the media has never covered any public concerns about their loss of rail services here, and no efforts have ever been made since of any repairs of this rail since 2012, so you can see how critical it is to need a public media again just for this case..

    FACT; John Campbell in 2012 was the last reporter who came to Gisborne to cover this story of the loss of our rail when he was anchor for TV three.

    ****So since Labour has been in Government no media has come back to cover the public concerns about the rail service still not being restored for the community.

    So a vital need is there now to offer a voice for community wjhen any issue is raised as this one was and was ignored by the media since the one km of the track was washed out and has never been repaired of covered since on TV or radio neteworks since 2012.

  4. Agreed. Let them ‘Capitalists’ eat their ideological words! Supply & Demand! Survival of the Fittest! Let the Market Decide! No! No! Dont Bail Me Out!

  5. I am sure Kris is a very genuine person and he seems to be someone inherently likeable. Howsoever, given a series of events that have happened, he does not seem to be the best person to have taken on this portfolio.

    There was the Rugby. TDB 24th Sept 2019

    There was the Youth Radio Station: TDB 8th Feb 2020

    There was Bauer: Stuff – 3rd April 2020

    And now this.

    With the Covid-19 Lockdown, Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media are now front and centre of all our daily lives. And when the lockdown lifts, it will continue to have vital importance in our lives.

  6. Martyn, you hit so many nails you could’ve built a house. Government funding foreign corporates too. Kathryn Ryan, on RNZ has been pimping for Corporate Interests all week long. This morning it was Minister Faafoi, who was trying to sound supportive, understanding and actively coming to grips with what might happen, or not. The previous Minister failed, and clearly the current one is getting the ‘best’ advice from the Corporate Sector, and currently awaits a business case from Price Waterhouse Coopers! Fact. Labour and Co have had 12 years to sort Public Broadcasting, and it awaits another report! Another case of being National light. Jacinda has a better smile and PR machine. In time. I think she will be seen as NZ’s Obama. Hope I’m wrong.

  7. Yes you are so right Philj,

    Kathryn Ryan was brought here during National Gov’t time to be a national pimp and is toxic against this Labour lead Government and it shows every time she speaks.

    She should be dismissed for being just a trumpet for National.

    • Well CG, it is ‘National’ Radio. Time for a name and culture change methinks Minister Faafoi. It’s becoming a hot bed for Tory’s.
      The lefties left long ago.

  8. Yes quite agree, T V 6 & 7 was supposed to be our ad free BBC style network, can’t have that said National & hocked it off to to become the + stations.
    Tax Google/Bookface !! Careful what you wish for here, Kim Dotcom found out that by taking on the Sepos at their own game that it brought the full force of the USA state on him, aided & abetted by the National Party.
    Always remember the quote in the doco about Dotcom, one of the leading figures in the entertainment industry said “never stand between an American & his (perceived) money otherwise you will suffer the consequences”!

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