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.
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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