MEDIAWATCH: Reason why Begging Google + Facebook for royalty crumbs isn’t enough for Domestic Media Industry or Fourth Estate Journalism


Media bosses urge MPs to ‘level playing field’ with big tech

Media bosses sounded a warning in Parliament today about journalism in jeopardy and the potential damage to democracy if the government does not back a Bill making offshore tech giants pay for their news.

Executives from New Zealand’s major media companies appeared before a select committee on Thursday to submit on the Fair Digital News Bargaining Bill, which would create a binding arbitration process if offshore digital platforms and local news media companies do not agree on deals for news content. 

They delivered a consistent message: the current digital advertising market is broken and their companies may not survive if it is not fixed. 

Meta (the owner of Facebook) and Google have come to dominate the digital advertising market over the past 20 years and at the expense of that mainstream media advertising revenue has declined.

RNZ chief executive Paul Thompson said media companies did not have a “level playing field” with tech giants like Meta and Google. 

Begging Google + Facebook for royalty crumbs isn’t enough for Domestic Media Industry or Fourth Estate Journalism.

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Firstly, these social media platforms are now purposely suppressing real journalism on their sites because they know they get more interaction out of furious and crazy opinions rather than actual journalism. Punters think they are getting the most important news in their social media feed when it’s only the most reactionary news getting through. This is radicalising and polarising citizens into becoming mouth foaming conspiracy theorists!

The Big Tech Tzars have manipulated our collective fear, ego, anger and insecurities through social media in a way that has led to the largest psychological civil war ever launched against one another.

Meanwhile, the planet burns and every aspect of our existence is monetarised for big data to sell us more stuff we can’t afford. We are alienated and anesthetized by a consumer culture that keeps us neurotic and disconnected. Our work, our existence, every move we make are all built to suck money to a minority class that sits above us while under neoliberalism, globalization, financialization, and automation, our existence as individuals has only become more disposable.

This isn’t progress and it doesn’t give the Fourth Estate the means to hold the powerrfuop to account!

Secondly, legacy media are in the situation they are because their old ratings systems for Radio, Print and TV were antiquated bullshit that was more magic than science. When the advertising rep told you ‘a million people will see this’, or ‘a million people will hear this’, or ‘a million people will read this’ it was all bullshit based on their nonsense diary, polling and tv box ratings systems!

The brutality of online viewing stats however alongside the inflated numbers social media sold as ‘impressions’ robbed radio and newspaper of their audience numbers.

Online is all that matters now and the stats they generate provide more than the old school radio diaries,  newspaper surveys or TV boxes.

RNZ missed their recent audience targets, TVNZ is haemorrhaging cash, NZME is asking The Platform for insight, a recent copy of the Dom Post had no adverts in it and there are already rumours that TV3 won’t replace The Project with a current affairs show at all.

Social media has not only stolen the advertising, they have trashed the previous system Radio, Newspapers and TV used to generate the audience numbers.

With tighter budgets, advertisers need to show their clients enormous social media numbers and that online data breaks the Radio and Newspaper models.

Those media companies that can transition to the new online rules are the only ones that will survive.

Thirdly, what we need is a total rethink on public money spent on journalism. Currently it is handed out via a deeply invested NZ on Air who give their mates money to produce angry feminist mommy blogger podcasts no on watches.

The problem with the current model is that it is NZ on Air mates funding other NZ on Air mates to form an echo bunker of elite opinion that never has to dirty itself with reality.

All that is being generated by the current funding model is The Spin-off sharing their content with RNZ/Stuff/TVNZ etc etc etc. An endless social engineering campaign that promotes diversity over white cis male facts.

What we need is 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 ensure plurality of voice for independent media, Māori media, specific communities,  news blogs and mainstream news media who become eligible if they agree to a set of Journalistic Principles.

These Journalistic Principles are fact checking stories, attempting to get comment and providing right of replies, protecting sources and attempts to hear the other side of the story.

If you do agree and sign up and can show a body of work that proves your journalism, you are entitled to funding and must have a Kiwi Journalism flag on your site to show you are obliged to follow the Journalistic Principles Code of conduct.

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

You can’t control the narrative by simply censoring it the way the Disinformation Project wants, and a ‘read between the flags’ campaign alongside a journalism fund would ensure Kiwis knew that whatever they were reading is at least base line journalistic standards rather than so much of the bullshit opinion masquerading as journalism.

We need to adapt our funding model if we want to have a media that can change to the realities of disinformation and misinformation while championing the importance of the values of journalism.

All NZ on Air funded journalism is now is an extension of elite opinion echo bunkers that only reinforces the privilege rather than challenges it. NZ on Air should be funding quality journalism not box ticking exercises.


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  1. One big thing legacy media is missing in this discussion is the ridiculous amounts you pay to advertise your product or service through their channels, pages or airwaves. I don’t want to and can’t afford to spend $1000s of dollars with them where through digital I can spend a hundred and get results. I can target people in my area who may be interested in my product. I get great results and value for money.
    Legacy media have such a high cost that it just isn’t affordable to spend my limited budget with them

  2. This is really just an extension of the poor regulation of the broadcasting moguls and the monopoly press barons, that began with the Atlas Network/Mont Pèlerin Society infiltrators within the Labour Party of the late 1980’s.

    Prior to that point broadcasting was entirely owned by the citizens, and the management all answered to elected officials — part of the legacy of Michael Joseph Savage. There were also competing daily newspapers in most markets.

    Richard Prebble had the option to grant television licenses to separate local affiliates in each television market. Instead he handed N.B.C. and their joint venture partners an absolute monopoly on private television for the entire country — which is the only reason Warner Bros. now has over half of the market in terrestrial television today.

    Regulators could easily force the O.T.T. broadcasters (Netflix, H.B.O. Max, Disney, Paramount, etc.) to sell all programming to separate local affiliate stations — just as C.B.S., A.B.C. and N.B.C. have been forced to do in their own home market for decades. Instead they prefer a totally unregulated free-for-all, dominated by only three giant trans-national companies.

    The regulators have also continuously ignored the absolute monopolies that exist in nearly every daily newspaper market.

  3. It all comes down to advertising. All media (traditional and social) is either supplemented or directly beholden to their advertisers. We live in an age where advertisers are lately extreme left-wing zealots (e.g. promoting trans-rights, climate change, Joe Biden, Ukraine, free everything with zero nuance or research) which has made normal journalism all but impossible since everyone is constantly walking on egg-shells now for fear of alienating these woke advertisers (that can and will put you out of business if you don’t kow-tow to woke ideology). You reap what you sow – I thought this is what everyone here at TDB wanted???


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