Screw Treasury – NZ Fourth Estate Journalism must have ring-fenced digital market regulation


I don’t care what Treasury says, NZ Fourth Estate Journalism must have ring-fenced digital market regulation!

Government could yet force tech giants to pay NZ media

“IRD is yet to accurately estimate how much the approach will bring in domestically but have stated to the ministry that it “is not expected to be significant in terms of our overall corporate tax take”. Commentary suggests it will be in the tens of millions rather than the hundreds,” officials say.

“There is an ambition to have a multilateral instrument in place by 2023. However, considerable further technical work and negotiations are required.

“Any potential income from the OECD tax process could potentially be ring-fenced and used to support news media organisations, or other specific cross-government priorities. While it is not common for tax revenues to be hypothecated for specific purposes, there are examples including the fuel tax system which goes into the National Land Transport Programme to support infrastructure and maintenance.”

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But the ministry notes the OECD answer – and the possibility of receiving new tax income – would not specifically address the industry’s relationship with digital platforms and payments for news content.

Worse, it reports the Treasury does not support using such tax revenue for ring-fenced purposes and favours any extra tax going into the consolidated fund.

…this is a decision that goes well beyond the judgment of the penny pinchers inside Treasury!

The Fourth Estate in a Democracy is crucial!

Google and Facebook have decimated corporate news media’s revenue streams while having none of the journalism obligations corporate news media are held to.

Cutting a ring-fenced journalism tax from the very media platforms responsible for the disinformation and misinformation disease that is infecting the body politic is the least they can do.

I don’t care if Mark Zuckerberg can’t afford a third golden private jet.

These platforms have an obligation to fund the journalism necessary to counter their mutation of debate into hate algorithms.

Currently the Public Journalism fund administered out of NZ on Air has been tainted as Government propaganda money, the ‘Team of $55 Million’ sneer the Right Wing Trolls, and to be fair to those Right Wing Trolls, they have a point.

The ‘guidelines’ set by NZ on Air to gain access to that budget have nothing to do with the craft or values of Journalism, they are an editorial policy that stipulates agreed facts about Māori.

It’s easy to turn that into a cudgel that beats the good out of the intent of the Journalism fund.

That fund runs out shortly, a new ring-fenced Journalism tax on social media that is used instead of State funds would be the industry self funding Journalism rather than the State doing it.

Those funds could still go through NZ on Air application but using a specific panel that has genuine authenticity of Journalistic craft and public broadcasting values like Professor Wayne Hope, Dr Gavin Ellis , Dr Merja Myllylahti or Dr David Robbie.

Use Industry funds to fund Journalism so that NZ on Air Journalism can’t be framed as State propaganda.

Make the mind polluters pay for the antidote to their pollution!

The ring-fenced tax would generate tens of millions each year, we spent $55million over 5 years so this tax would replace state funding and then some.


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  1. But, Martyn — The so-called Journalism displayed at NZME/Stuff — is crap, for example, Max Key stories, Married at First Sight articles, Jacinda from annoncements media releases, Nadia Lim Master Chef write ups…if I want to keep up with Journalism — I look at YouTube, or International sources reports.
    Do not protect this rubbish

    • Normally NZ main stream media try to have at lease one article per day mentioning Countdown or New World positively, presumably paid promotion rather than a love for the brands.

  2. Tech giants should be forced to pay news media for content – but the concern is that news media are now just lobbyists for their big business owners or advertisers.

    Have you read how terrible the news is now?

    Not sure if it is because news increasingly only uses business paid (promo) content,

    or that the woke can’t write or spell or construct the paragraphs to inform anyone anymore,

    they arrested and harassed most NZ investigative journos like Nicky Hager,

    the millennials can only write about themselves and the faux traumas and experiences of their friends from facebook,

    Journos just plain copying or making up content. (not unique to NZ,

    Bring back investigative journalism with real content and it should be government paid and independent by people who actually have old fashioned journalist credentials and not a 6 week journo course and be perceived by to be good with money!

    In NZ, expert skills are often muddled with being good at making oneself rich off a subject.

    Seriously The Daily Blog and quite a few other blogs, have more informative news in NZ than a lot of the media being paid and funded the big bucks!

  3. of course govt favours the consolidated fund that way they can steal the money for office refurbishment, reorganisation, and new departmental logos.

    • gagarin You are bad, bad – putting ideas into the heads of our brave, fearless, self-denying civil servants – or that’s the impression I get from Harvard graduates. Right now someone is planning an update of their office wall colour – to a different shade of grey.

  4. In NZ, journalism is too linked to industry and politicians. In order for this craft to survive they need to have paid independent news journalists, but also to stop the poor level of degree graduates and training in NZ for journalists.

    Worldwide there are many scandals.
    The Top 12 Journalism Scandals Since 2000
    They range from allegations of bias to stories that were just made up

    Sad that it’s a lot more lucrative to be a press secretary for a political or communications for corporates than a journalist creating real news. Baristas seem to earn around the same as journalists in NZ….

    Even Ghana know that poorly paid journalists are a threat to National security!
    ‘Poorly paid journalists threat to national security’ – GBC Director General

  5. “an editorial policy that stipulates agreed facts about Māori.”

    Facts? And agreed on by whom?

  6. Anybody who reads NZ news is pretty much being misinformed much of the time as NZ media don’t seem to make any practical conclusions in NZ, just endless cliches which are echo chambers from the neoliberals and woke.

    AKA housing crisis.

    It’s reported that Kainga Ora is spending 10 million on 13 houses (at $760k per house) to be built/just built, but nobody points out why are they spending a fortune, when there are houses like this one for $380,000?

    “26 Harold Ave, Kaikohe, Far North, Northland
    In a great town location and bordering farm on one boundary, this corner section home feels very open and bright with a great size garden, ramp for easy access, single garaging and a couple of other sheds for wood and storage.
    Inside the home extras include HRV system, wet room bathroom, wood burner and heat pump.
    House needs some modernisation of new carpets and a fresh paint inside and out but is a very good option to make it your own for the first home buyer or investment. Recently had all electrics checked and replumbed ready for the new owner.

    Maybe a family could avoid another 10 years growing up, in a hotel room if someone could point out the obvious?

    In Northland we find 857 houses under $750,000 and nearly half are under $500,000 – why pay over the odds, when you could house more families for 10 mill?

    In Auckland it seems there are quite a few houses going cheap. Trade me shows 397 apartments/houses under $400k, 514 apartments/houses under $500k, 654 apartments/houses under $600k, 840 apartments/houses under $700k, and 1,077 under $800,000. Yep some of them will be leaky, but hey that’s our councils for signing them off, in the first place – just like they are signing off the new Kainga Ora builds which will also probably be leaky in the near future too….

    Likewise rentals. There are 79 rentals that are under $500 p/w in Northland, (cheaper than $1200 p/w for motels).

    There are 3,102 rentals listed in Auckland for under $600 p/w – again why is the state paying over the odds for transitional housing and funding the many housing task forces, Kainga Ora staff and government funded community groups who seem to spend a lot of it, on themselves and their admin.

    Revealed: Kāinga Ora spent over $24m of taxpayer money in four years on its own office renovations

    Community Housing Providers to get upfront funding to deliver new builds faster

  7. The corporates own the news, that’s the main takeaway here. One corporate ain’t much different from the other. So, does corporate news serve the interests of, we the people- that is what matters here!

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