TVNZ is doomed – what does the Left do about that?


Less than 50% of revenue for American Newspaper in the 1800s was generated by advertising revenue, over 50% was subsidised from civic movements because media always needed subsidisation because of the importance of its role in shaping Democracy.

Readers were citizens needing informing, they weren’t just consumers.

I drop this note because the Reactionary Right always scream media should stand on its own when it never could.

We are a sparsely populated country ion two huge Islands, we have always needed the State as the foundation upon which everything is built because the advertising model was never going to work here.

The market is broken with social media giants taking content and not paying for it while draining the exisiting advertising market.

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TVNZ is being lined up for privatisation and paywalls.

At a time when disinformation and misinformation is rife and warping disgruntled citizens into foaming redneck Qanon antivax crackers, we need an information landscape better than paywalled elitism.

How to Save TVNZ and Public Broadcasting?

We need a mix of ideas:

Fund TVNZ 1 commercial free – If we can have commercial free radio, why not commercial free TV? By removing TV1 from the ratings you can focus more on quality public broadcasting that can critique the economic culture. Allow TV2 and Duke to be the advertising spaces.

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. 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.

Promoting Journalism in the Pacifc to counter other influences – I think one way NZ could uniquely promote its interests into the Pacific could be via Journalism. AUT run the excellent Pacific Media Centre to promote quality Journalism throughout the Pacific. What if NZ saw the promotion of quality Journalism as a craft throughout the Pacific as a strong way to counter corruption and external influence? Scholarships, Pacific News Media websites and support of local ethical journalism, these could be the pillars of promoting corruption free politics and holding those Governments to account. Promotion of Journalistic standards throughout the Pacific could counter external influences and promote NZs strategic interests.

Māori Media – Māori TV & Māori Radio need a baseline increase rather than extra budget for collaborations because the bigger players give very little back.

Unfortunately the Political Right want to keep you stupid and want to leash the fourth estate if not kill it off altogether.

Democracy dies in darkness and all National are doing is turning off the lights.


  1. “. . . news blogs and mainstream news media who become eligible if they agree to a set of Journalistic Principles.“

    Yeah right. The sort of stuff that made “Turf Digest” such a riveting read. Thanks but no thanks.

  2. Martyn – Again…I am not totally sold on the current TVNZ $300 million per year model and coverage…the Daily Blog does a better job in exploring current issues.

  3. TVNZ needs to be privatised and sold to Fox Corp, so that they can produce our daily news coverage. Instead of infomercials overnight on TV1, they could broadcast Fox News!

    • I’m nearly sure you are being satirical Z. Or else it is one of those great ideas where you do the once inconceivable and utilise something that has been an abomination and make it work for good. Hah, but surprises can happen. (In the 19th century being foxed meant that you were so drunk you were out of your wits.)

  4. Why should I, as a tax payer pay for some agency that activity hates me?

    We have given you a Radio Station (Red Radio), pay for your own bloody TV propaganda.

    • Why are these people coming to the Daily Blog? Anyone who calls our most conservative (in the non political sense) media institution “red” clearly has no idea what the full extent of the political spectrum is – or indeed where they are right now.

      I mean, if Bg honestly believes that they’re hated by government media they must be putting their very life in danger by coming here!

      • “Red radio” is what RNZ is called in right wing echo chambers. They think it’s witty, whatever. When they use it here, it’s just embarrassing.

  5. How about having TVNZ available free to air in Aus and UK. This would increase the audience size and maybe attract more advertising dollars, and not cost much to do, and have a ready pool of viewers amongst expats. In return Aus and UK channels could be made available free to air in NZ. I would certainly be a viewer. This may already be the situation with online streaming which I’m not au fait with.

    • Sounds like a promising idea. Keep them coming but don’t wear your brain out – those getting paid don’t. Does anyone remember the 60-70’s where there were free thinkers employed by big corps to come up with ideas and were not tied to a target of so many phone calls an hour or earnings every 6 minutes? Perhaps those corps have now sunk to corpse, bent over their navels counting profits and pushing percentages up and down a sliding scale. Oh goodness I have had an idea and it wasn’t actually painful, for me!

      This is a bloke who knew about scales – Farinelli, a castrato who could produce perfect outcomes in music, as well as good earnings. Perhaps our management wallahs should have the incentives of this enhanced, superior job classification for their advancement. 4.03
      Farinelli Il Castrato (1994) – Lascia Ch’io Pianga – Soundtrack

  6. ” TVNZ is doomed – what does the Left do about that? ”
    What ‘Left’ ? We have no politically Left Labour party left. What was an albeit skinny, limping, malnourished workers party no longer exists because while your backs were turned a stunted pig farmer slithered in and slaughtered it. The labour party we see today isn’t that. It’s a limp-dick appendage of the natinal party, the primary industry farmers Dominatrix Mistress party of no choice at all but where everyone gets a whipping.
    Most of you must come to understand is what the hideous national party and its little playthings are doing IS NOT to reshape a future-world for where they get richer. Those fuckers are already rich. What Cluxon and his little ferret minions are doing is in fact trying to hide past crimes of such scope and reach it’d blow your closed fucking minds to make good their escape.
    On a lighter note: Check out our new owners.
    I especially soooooo loved the intimacy shared by Melissa McIntosh and son Byron McIntosh. Such a lovely couple. I do hope they call their first-born Chlamydia. Wonder if they’ll invite ron brierly to their wedding…? How exciting! ( Love your work Kath and Kim.)–in-pictures
    ( Countryboy was correct. Wake the fuck up Kiwis, you’re being set up.)

    • This puts me in mind of a song that I could dedicate to Roger Douglas. (Also think bad Sir Roger Douglas – see Bad Sir Brian Botany AA Milne as an appropriate paean.)
      But Steeleye Span sings Sir James the Rose .
      It’s about a man who kills and receives a deadly punishment. He was already a Sir but was punished. Roger Douglas has been made a Sir for his bad deed. Something wrong when measured against the auld ways. He was party to the killing of NZ/AO now a mere ghost. (first two verses)
      Oh have you heard Sir James the Rose
      The young heir of Loch Laggan
      For he has killed a gallant squire
      And his friends are out to take him

      He’s gone to the House of Marr
      The Nurse there did befriend him
      And he has gone upon his knees
      And begged for her to hide him

      ‘Where’re you going Sir James? she said
      ‘Where now are you riding?
      ‘Oh I am bound for a foreign land
      But now I’m under hiding…

  7. Might it be the end of an era? Boomers remember the introduction of television as a wonderful broadcasting innovation, for news, for information and a bit of trivia. People paid for the privilege through licensing fees. If you couldn’t get it on TV there was always radio, the local newspaper, the Herald and the Star, the Listener and the Truth. The downside was the TV dominated living rooms, successive generations held capture to the flickering tube, as if represented some kind of reality. Well, it did in some way. Before reality TV, iconic programmes, many now gone, captured a slice of life here in Godzone, and further ashore, whether we saw ourselves in it or not. The News was … well … the TV news. Not indepth analysis. That was left to a few current affairs programmes of varying quality.

    What’s changed? Far too much advertising. Far too much trivia. Far too little in-depth analysis. But most of all, a changing demographic. Who watches free view fir news, current affairs or entertainment now? Probably few under 30 (40?) but maybe more than I think above that age.

    But I agree, a worthy national broadcaster is worth saving and supporting. And Maori TV also, despite it faults, eg, endless repeats.

  8. A free and impartial media serving the interests of the people is a myth and always has been. Under our Capitalist system, the media has always been an arm of the establishment, along side its counterparts, the judiciary, the church, the education system and the executive. All else is smoke and mirrors. How else could we have been cajoled into accepting anything other than a swift and total condemnation of the on-going Zionist genocide taking place in Palestine, if not through the biased reporting of the media? How else could the persecution, to the doors of death, of Julian Assange, for exposing our complicity in war crimes, been ignored by our so-called “free press”, if it is so damned righteous? How else have we been denied a full and frank detailing of the truth behind the war in Ukraine, or that of the atrocities that occurred in East Timor or are currently occurring in West Papua and French Polynesia, and a myriad of other places, right now, if not through media collusion? How else could our understanding of world affairs have come to dovetail so seamlessly with that of US imperialist interests if not through the “manufactured consent” orchestrated by the media. How, in God’s name, could we allow ourselves to be endlessly conned into vilifying huge swathes of our own people, in the name of “law and order”, if not by deliberate media manipulation? How? – because, as the system know only too well, we have been programmed to be led rather than lead, and we are too damn timid to do anything other than contribute to pointless exchanges like this. All we are left to hope for now is that we be spared another saccharine soliloquy from Paddy Gower.

  9. if they had been better they wouldn’t be going down the gurgler….I’m not looking for rightwing or leftwing bias but some journalism rather than public handjobs for pollies would have helped…too late no one likes or trusts a suck up.

  10. P.s
    Please don’t ever disconnect from us Daily Blog.

    We the NZ population need you more than ever.
    Thanks for your contributions to our media.

    I enjoy the fact that you and the readers all speak your mind. It’s refreshing!!!

  11. Unfortunately as soon a Govt supports the Media, the crackpots will yell” Govt has bought the Media” especially when low life politicians like Winston encourage misinformation for votes. Not sure how any Govt can assist Media now No matter what checks and balances are in place. The fourth estate and democracy is doomed.

  12. I blame Richard Prebble, and the Broadcasting Act 1989, that turned TVNZ into a commerically focused broadcaster. Out was public service broadcasting and historical documentaries, in was reality garbage, informericals, and imported sludge.

  13. “50% was subsidised from civic movements”

    Tell us more. Who were these civic movements? Did they just pay editors to support their views?

    Is their counterpart today lobbyists like Family First, Sensible Sentencing, Gay Pride, Workers Unions, Newmarket Business Association?

  14. “50% was subsidised from civic movements”

    Tell us more. Who were these civic movements? Did they just pay editors to support their views?

    Is their counterpart today lobbyists like Family First, Sensible Sentencing, Gay Pride, Workers Unions, Newmarket Business Association?

  15. Most people in NZ have no idea what constitutes public broadcasting unless they are over 60 or have lived abroad. I’m afraid it ain’t going to happen Martyn. There is only one strategy left, using CER, make the ABC and SBS available here. People will see pub. broadcasting, current affairs/events programming and eventually ( am J being over optimistic here) demand a local equivalent. It is clear there is no other path left.

  16. What does the left do about that? Nothing! It’s a crown entity, Labour is not in charge now. Another govt is. Sure you can jump up and down and scream, but that’s about it. TVNZ is such low level tv, with it’s puerile flagship called Seven Sharp (really?…sharp????) it doesn’t matter if it goes away quietly into the night. The other night Hillary and JW deliver this gem: “What can we do to save money when food prices are so high?” Cut to voice over in supermarket with family shopping voice: “We could shop around and compare prices.” Wow, that was insightful news from TVNZ.


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