MEDIAWATCH: Newshub is important infrastructure for our Democracy, leaving it the market when the market is broken is an abdication of responsibility

Democracy dies in darkness and Melissa Lee as Broadcasting Minister is only there to turn off the lights! 


Newshub is important infrastructure for our Democracy!

It’s like the Cook Straits Ferry, or the fucking Harbour Bridge, you can’t just leave Newshub to implode!

Ignoring the enormous impact they have for journalism because the current Broadcasting Minister is only focused on the audience for the TV in the lounge misunderstands the entire media environment!

Melissa Lee is a hopeless Broadcasting Minister.

Her shrug and claim that this is the market working misunderstands the enormity of what is happening here!

Here argument that no one watches TV misunderstands that all of Newshub’s journalism features online and influences well beyond the TV screen in the lounge room!

The wider problem is we have a Government that wants you to be dumb and fractured and arguing amongst yourselves rather than holding them to account.

If Newshub was Big Tobacco, a gun lobbyist or rich landlord wanting a tax loop hole, they’d already be saved.

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We can’t allow Newshub to go under any more than we can simply allow one of the lanes of the Harbour Bridge just fall off without any repair!

This Government is giving away a billion each year to the richest amongst us as a tax cut.

Fully funding TV1 to be advert free so the advertising dollars flows to Newshub is one way we could reform the broken free market that we currently have.

It’s the Government’s responsibility to regulate capitalism so that Capitalism’s venal profit driven nature isn’t the only value that matters. This Government is focused not on regulating Capitalism, but deregulating it for their donor base.

It is a level of transactional politics New Zealanders have never seen before and it’s occurring because Luxon is a weak leader who can’t manage Seymour, Winston or the corporate influences that are driving National.

We are in so much danger as a country. The Left have been too focused on bickering amongst each other and cancelling those who don’t agree to their woke doctrine while the Right are blitzkrieging far right culture war revenge fantasies as social policy.

Democracy dies in darkness and Melissa Lee as Broadcasting Minister is only there to turn off the lights!


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  1. It really is about time that the big social media companies started paying for news content right? It’s been done in other countries, can’t see why it can’t be done here. We used to be world leaders in this sort of thing – how the mighty have fallen.

  2. Martyn – NZ Government should be funding TDB, not Newshub…at least I learn things from this site, unlike Newshub…

  3. Mellisa Lee. Yet another Nactoid ladder puller-upper. Happy to suck on the public’s tit while it suits, then deprive others their due.
    A very ugly holier than thou specimen.

  4. Bomber Newshub weren’t doing their job and here is an example of why as Malcolm Evans argues in his blog.

    ” Dear media colleagues; for allowing, without the slightest protest, one of your own to be sacked for daring to sub some fairness and objectivity into your news reporting, for allowing your media to totally ignore the plight of the single most courageous journalist in modern history, letting him sit in solitary confinement for years where he is now in peril of his life for having exposed the geopolitical criminality we are a part of, for perpetuating political bias in the coverage of conflict, where the stories of those who our geopolitical masters want praised are prioritized over the stories of those they want damned, even when they are victims of a genocide, for your role in all of that, for putting your “celebrity” and salaries before the principals you claim to be defending, you can all rot in hell. “

  5. People under 30 in vast numbers don’t watch either 6 pm news channel. And the producers need to ask themselves why that is.

    • Because they are out working a second job to either get or pay off a mortgage. Nationals appalling immigration ponzi scheme a number of years ago responsible for that.

    • And there we go… finally somebody speaking truth.
      TV 3 has lost money almost its entire existence. You can’t keep funding a dead business. It’s also not the tax payers job to fund a failing industry.

    • Marco+Battler:

      > People under 30 in vast numbers don’t watch either 6 pm news channel.

      That’s not the problem here. Large TV companies traditionally accept a news operation is expensive to run properly, and less attractive to advertisers than light entertainment, so ad revenue from the former will to some degree subsidise the latter. The problem is that the new owners of TV3 are willing to throw their news operation under the bus as a short term fix for the profitability crisis of the company and the TV industry as a whole.

      They could make a range of cuts across the company and keep NewsHub going. But killing it quicker and easier.

      • Thats entirely the problem. The audience doesn’t exist of a scale to justify the adverting spend any more. 15 years ago (in my 30’s) I’d watch the news 5 nights out of seven. 5 years ago I might have watched part of a bulletin twice a week. Now I don’t watch at all. I moved house two years ago and never bothered to plug in the terrestrial TV.

        The TV news now has no credibility as it has become so woke as to render it unwatchable. The downstream problem for TV3 is that their advertisers now can’t get to their markets. People who buy utes, home appliances, shop at a supermarket and fly away to a holiday destination. They are a target market for their advertisers, but their programming has alienated them. Its the same at TVNZ. Their news programme is usually consumed by the over 60’s but the programming is written by millennials, for millennials who aren’t watching.

        High cost TV news networks are in a death spiral. They need to adapt, fast or they are toast. Same goes for the newspapers – Stuff will be next.

        Maybe some more better public media broadcasting is necessary, or perhaps the govt needs to provide the expensive fixed broadcast/hosting costs of the media and leave them to manage the editorial content. Hopefully better.

      • Boomers and some gen x are only ones sitting in front of TV and watching 1hr of news, and that can no longer support 2 TV stations unfortunately.

  6. “MEDIAWATCH: Newshub is important infrastructure for our Democracy, leaving it the market when the market is broken is an abdication of responsibility
    Democracy dies in darkness and Melissa Lee as Broadcasting Minister is only there to turn off the lights! ”
    @ M.B. wrote that and in my humble opinion he’s absolutely correct.
    Again, in my opinion, the mafia spiders within national are scripting a long game to sell us to whom ever has the money coupled with a need to run for it. Israel springs to mind.
    We all should be very concerned.

  7. Bailing out a foreign, trans-national press monopoly is hardly in the interests of organised labour.

    The real story here is that (local) anti-trust regulation in broadcasting has barely existed since 1989. If it did, the networks would have been forced to sell programming to separate local affiliate stations in every television market (i.e. each broadcast radius within every province) — standard practice in the industry since the late 1940’s. Another standard practice is mandated local newsrooms in every market, that must produce their own distinct local bulletins each day (this being enforceable by law).

    Most of the money in television is now concentrated within the big O.T.T. networks (Netflix, Disney+, H.B.O. Max, Paramount+, Amazon Prime Video & Apple T.V.). Regulators who think they can be treated like a cable television system are totally clueless — if you don’t force them to sell to local affiliate stations with newsroom mandates, entire television markets could end up with no local news — or even no local stations whatsoever (as has already happened in all but four N.Z. provinces).

    • There’s no reason that any bail out should involve the alien foreigners receiving any money. Instead, how about we take everything, including all of TV3 and also the profits in NZ from the last few superhero movies, and they get nothing?

  8. Just asserting that Newshub is important infrastructure doesn’t make it so.
    That its infantile current affair analyses and soft emotion drivel reporting extend well beyond the lounge is more horrifying than reassuring.

    In principle, yes, a variety of robust news sources is important for democracy, but that’s not how we are or have been served over the past 30 years. Be honest.

    I abandoned watching television altogether a decade ago largely because of disgust at the dismal quality of the news services dished up by the two main competing networks and by their stables of ‘star’ presenters, Hosking and Gower, Garner etc. That’s not to mention the political biases and overt manipulation practices some of those names indulged in.

    Since they’ve poisoned their audiences they should stop moaning about finding themselves following suit.

  9. It’s not a real “market” when it’s skewed by certain players taking content for free, and then using that content to attract advertising revenue.

  10. Could a staff buyout save NewsHub? Or even TV3 as a whole?

    When Stuff was facing a similar fate at the hands of overseas owners, a member of staff bought it for $1. It’s now a much better news service for being journalist-driven, instead of profit-driven. It would be even better if it put social enterprise principles into its constitution to enshrine that.

  11. I have zero sympathy for the demise of newshub. I stopped watching TV news years ago. In the 90s, I was a mature student doing Pols, and we got a lecture from the then head of NZ school of journalism. Very revealing. Since the 80s, all NZ news has been geared to and driven by ads and ratings; not news. It was transformed into infotainment with the following formula on every channel.
    60 mins les 14 for ads and promos.
    46 less 6 for weather.
    40/4 for sport, hard news, soft news and lead news.
    Each 10 min segment has 3 stories: one hard, one soft and one feel good. The extra min is filled with chit chat.
    The hard news is either crime, crash or disaster. The soft news is opinion, so story or flattery. The feel good is children, animals or nostalgia.
    Both news channels here in NZ are heavily critical of anything “socialist”, agnostic/atheist, or anti-free market. They are openly hostile to Labour, Greens and Maori. They are sycophantic to National, ACT and Christian/Conservative.
    We haven’t had a decent investigative TV program for 40 years. Even Fair Go is a pale imitation of what was before the 90s.
    With a whole generation having grown up without a proper news service, it’s no wonder social media and YT and other apps fill the gap, but there’s no standards for these, and people aren’t educated enough to be discriminating.
    TV3 and the Canadians brought that formula to NZ, so they deserve every bit of grief coming their way; it’s called Karma.

  12. Lee is just another arrogant self serving nat .How ever tv3 and media works was a dog long ago and should have been closed after the first fail .Sadly stuff will soon follow as I have noted a serious decline in their offering since the election with no opinion stuff any more and poor quality service with the jumping back and forth while on screen .We may well be left with just toxiciity of ZB and their stable of ferrals

  13. Journalism and Julian Assange. Can’t find much on Assange. All nations commenting but back news on Australian and Uk media. Was 20-22 Feb hearing wasn’t it? So still should be top news.

    It doesn’t look as if the UK can find enough blue sky to make a pair of sailor’s trousers, as the saying goes. Everything is grey in the environs of these English speaking Powers and the USA has decided they smell an Englishman and are going to metaphorically grind his bones to make their bread. Disgraceful when the background to the case is studied, and is not as hard-edged as made out.

    …Before he died last year at 92, Daniel Ellsberg, who was prosecuted for his role in publishing the Pentagon Papers, which helped to end the Vietnam War, was a strong Assange supporter. Ellsberg was unsuccessfully pursued under the same US law.

    American hypocrisy is an easy target for columnists with Al Jazeera. One wrote: “The world’s self-appointed greatest democracy has long made it clear that basic rights and freedoms are things that only its enemies must abide by.” Assange’s crime, the columnist added, was to utilise WikiLeaks to expose US military excesses, as in the notorious Collateral Murder video that was released in 2010.

    “The video footage, which dates from 2007, shows a massacre of a dozen people in Baghdad by upbeat helicopter-borne US military personnel, who did not find it necessary to conceal the extent to which they were getting off on the slaughter. Among the murdered Iraqis were two staffers for the Reuters news agency. Talk about assaults on media freedom.”

    Alan Rusbridger, the former Guardian editor, collaborated with Assange who he describes as one of a hybrid breed: “Part activist, part journalist, part publisher, part hacker.” He says: “The security state — for all that it does good and necessary work — needs to be monitored and held to account…

    Jeremy Corbyn interviewed.


  14. Why aren’t people reading, listening to or watching the mainstream media? Specifically, why aren’t people interested in political reporting and commentary in the media? Some will tell you that it is because the media has a uniform neo-liberal bias and others will point out that the commentary is typically fatuous. But there is another reason, something that is pretty well out of the media’s control, at least in the short to medium term. That is that people have lost confidence in their ability to participate in the political system and to direct its course through the democratic process. If the political system is something outside your control, why would you want to know about it? As simple entertainment politics ranks below cute homeless kittens or household renovations. So the crisis in news media is really just an extension of the degeneration of politics.


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