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Green Party Aotearoa’s Broadcasting Policy!

Reading, hearing, and watching stories about New Zealanders,
for New Zealanders, by New Zealanders, is critical to our
democracy and adds to our national identity.
The traditional media is facing financial and technological disruption. There’s a lot of great journalism in New Zealand, however in recent years we have seen proposed mergers and cuts to staff numbers.
In response to this uncertainty, the government needs to step up to ensure the future of public interest journalism on paper, on our screens, and on the radio.
To help make that happen, the Green Party will:
1.
Establish a New Zealand Public Journalism Fund to support public interest journalism and help tell New Zealand stories across a range of platforms.
2.Restore Radio New Zealand’s funding, which has been frozen since 2008.
How will it work?
Public Interest Journalism Fund
With traditional media facing challenges from new technologies and changing business models,it’s important for the Government to support public interest journalism continuing in New Zealand.
The Public Interest Journalism Fund will be established to support telling New Zealand
stories across a range of platforms, including print, television, and online (for example, through podcasts or web series). The fund will be established with an initial annual budget of $3 million.
The fund will be administered by Creative New Zealand. Grants will be dispersed by a
rotating panel of journalists and a range of other experienced people to ensure diversity.
The Board of Creative New Zealand will appoint people to the panel on advice from
officials. Politicians will not be involved in this process.
Grants will be available for individual pieces of work and for annual salaries/costs
that enable a body of work. The fund could be used for specialist round reporting,
investigative research, or areas of public interest.
The funding criteria will be available for all platforms, and grants will be awarded based
on the public interest and relevance to New Zealand. The principal criteria will be
whether the work being funded will help New Zealanders to be better informed.
Work funded must be freely available on at least one platform, i.e. not paywalled or
requiring any kind of subscription fee.
Public Journalism Fund
•Grant recipients will not be required to bring their own private sector funding
to the table, but will be required to demonstrate likely audiences and distribution
plans.
• Recipients will be audited against appropriate audience reach metrics, to be determined by the panel in consultation with Creative New Zealand and the Ministry of Culture and Heritage. These may vary depending on distribution platform. The
results will help to determine future funding for previous applicants.
Restoring funding to Radio New Zealand
Radio New Zealand is the cornerstone of publicly-owned, public interest, nationwide broadcasting in New Zealand, and has operated under a funding freeze since 2008. While
it continues to deliver a high quality service and has broadened its content, it’s important to address the real-term funding cuts under the National Government. The Green Party will restore Radio New Zealand funding to at least 2008 levels (inflation adjusted) – costing an additional $3.2 million in the first year, which would increase baseline funding from $33.916 million to $37.142 million.
Why do we need this?
Journalism is critical to democracy and healthy societies. Traditional media has seen significant changes and challenges with the rise of new technologies and platforms.
The New Zealand government spends less per capita than almost all OECD countries on
broadcasting, and Radio New Zealand has had a funding freeze since 2008.

New Zealand First’s Broadcasting Policy!

New Zealand First will promote diverse, innovative and quality programming, including programmes reflecting New Zealand’s identity, character and cultural diversity.  It will also promote the development of a broadcasting industry that is responsive to audience needs, respects community standards and places a high priority on the protection of children from harmful material.

There is an important role for publicly owned television and radio networks to provide essential communications in the event of national emergencies.

New Zealand First will:

  • Combine Television New Zealand (TVNZ) and Radio New Zealand under one state-owned enterprise known as New Zealand Broadcasting (NZB), modelled on similar public broadcasting systems overseas, and with clear aims that include promoting our nation’s unique qualities, and the coverage of significant national events.
  • Re-establish a non-commercial public service free-to-air channel with a concentration on quality programming based on the TVNZ 7 model.
  • Introduce lower dividend requirements to allow more expenditure on quality programming thus removing the need for low value programming with high advertising content.
  • Require TV One and Radio New Zealand to establish a common complementary administrative and logistical system.
  • Require TV One and Radio New Zealand to establish a common complementary news service that enhances coverage.
  • Set up a more secure system of funding for Radio New Zealand and remove it from the list of charitable trusts.
  • Ensure that all future appointments to the NZB board are made on the basis of experience, expertise, and appropriate representation from industry and consumers, and not political patronage.
  • Require that salaries paid beyond accepted public service bands, particularly but not exclusively in broadcasting, be cleared with and signed off by stakeholder ministers.
  • Improve Radio New Zealand’s international services to the Pacific region.
  • Review the efficacy of the process of allocating digital channels and radio spectrum bands and ensure that emergency facilities are protected.
  • Support community-based television and radio broadcasting.
  • Continue to work with the industry and the public to achieve and maintain a voluntary quota system to increase the New Zealand content of radio and television broadcasting.
  • Improve processes and funding mechanisms (including via New Zealand On Air) in order to develop the amount and quality of New Zealand content.
  • Raise broadcasting standards especially in relation to violence, obscenities, and pornography.
  • Strengthen the rating system for video games with a move towards restricting access by minors to graphically violent and sexually explicit video games.
  • Review the regulations and practices relating to the use and allocation of funds for the broadcasting of election programmes.

RNZ Still Has A Funding Shortfall!

  • RNZ had a funding increase of $11.4 million over 4 years which works out to be an extra $2.85 million per year.
  • RNZ needs an extra $14.96 million per year.
  • This means that its funding goes from $35, 410,000 to $38,260,000 per year.
  • This funding increase is for technology and improving capability.
  • $12.11 million funding shortfall.
  • Although RNZI still only gets $1.9 million per year, it is going to indirectly benefit from the small funding increase.
  • This extra funding is not guaranteed beyond the next 5 years.
  • TVNZ7 closed down because its funding wasn’t guaranteed beyond 2012.
  • RNZ’s digital upgrade, which enabled Checkpoint with John Campbell to be broadcast in pictures, along with the $736,000 in redundancy expenses left RNZ with a $1.39 million operating deficit.
  • That amounted to a 12% funding cut – in real terms with increase in costs of stuff. What is the current funding cut now?
  • KPMG report
  • $11.4 million over 4 years which works out to be just $2.85 million extra per year and it is for technology. The KPMG report that RNZ commissioned into the state of their finances ten years ago showed that they needed between 6 and 7 million extra per year then. Now it should be an extra $14.96 million per year. So they have a $12.11 million per year funding shortfall at the moment.

Radio New Zealand does well in the latest GFK Radio Survey!

The latest GFK radio survey results for RNZ are out for the year to June 2017. RNZ is hugely popular with New Zealanders! Here are some stats:

  • Weekly cumulative nationwide audience for RNZ National – 619,100 or 14.9% of the population aged 10 year and over.
  • Among all radio stations in New Zealand, RNZ National’s station share is 11.7%
  • Weekly cumulative audience for RNZ Concert is 173,700 or 4.2% of the population aged 10 years and over.
  • Combined weekly cumulative audience for RNZ National and Concert is 687,100 which is 16.5% of the population.
  • RNZ National has 11.7% share of all the radio stations in New Zealand.
  • RNZ National’s audience of 619,100 listeners makes it the number two station in New Zealand for cume audience size.

Programme stats:

  • Morning Report 467,000 listeners.
  • Nine to Noon with Kathryn Ryan  309,800 listeners.
  • Jesse Mulligan 267,000 listeners.
  • The Panel with Jim Mora  232,800 listeners.
  • Checkpoint with John Campbell 283,400 listeners.
  • Nights with Bryan Crump  197,600 listeners.
  • Saturday Morning with Kim Hill  277,600  listeners.
  • Sunday Morning with Wallace Chapman 301,100  listeners.

 

Source for this piece: http://www.radionz.co.nz/about/audience-research

 

Fund RNZ Public Meeting March 2017!

A public meeting was held on the 20th of March discussing the state of Radio New Zealand’s funding! Here’s the link to the video  .

If you haven’t signed it already, here is to the online petition to increase funding for Radio New Zealand.

Also, if you would like to donate to the campaign, you can do so here.

#FundRNZ – The fight resumes!

RNZ a big winner at the New York Festival Radio Awards!

RNZ Award Winners

Gold Award Mohamed Hassan Public Enemy
Gold Award Kim Hill Best Radio Personality
Silver Award Adrian Hollay & Tim Dodds Otello
Silver Award Colin Peacock & Jeremy Rose Mediawatch
Bronze Award John Campbell Best News Anchor
Bronze Award RNZ News Kaikoura Earthquake Coverage of Breaking News
RNZ Finalists

Phil Pennington Steel Mesh Investigation
Kathryn Ryan Best Talk Show Host
Noelle McCarthy A Wrinkle in Time
Philippa Tolley The Oldest Profession

You can read more in RNZ’s press release here.

RNZ has already proven that it’s worth more than the pittance that it gets! Let’s #FundRNZ – The fight resumes!

Petition here.

You can donate to the fight here.

 

 

 

RNZ to move some jobs to Auckland!

According to this piece by John Drinnan. Radio New Zealand is going to move 4 key roles, in its news division, from Wellington to Auckland. This will include an on-air position. Some staff may be unable or unwilling to move to Auckland. RNZ says they are moving staff due to the Kaikoura earthquake because it “showed how the capital and the RNZ head office were vulnerable to natural disaster.” I’m assuming that Radio New Zealand House has been deemed safe for staff to work in. I know that buildings in Wellington have to comply to a standard which allows them a good chance of withstanding a large earthquake.

Could it be the earthquake risk? Or could it be that it is getting a little crowded there in Radio New Zealand House? Last year, RNZ vacated a floor in Radio New Zealand House, presumably to tighten their belt even further due to the funding freeze. Plus they were forced to sell their Auckland studios earlier this year! It seems to me that RNZ is gradually centralising its operations in order to save money. As I wrote in another piece earlier this year, RNZ’s Annual Report 2006 states that they had recently opened regional offices in Tauranga, New Plymouth and Queenstown. They have subsequently closed regional offices in Tauranga, Palmertson North and Queenstown, which only closed last year. They clearly saw the need for their reporters to be located in these places so it stands to reason that these closures were due to the funding freeze. There are currently just 7 reporters working for RNZ in the South Island – 2 in Dunedin, 4 in Christchurch and 1 at the top of the South Island.

Yes, the funding freeze has technically ended, but $2.85 million extra per year isn’t enough to make up for the financial hole that was left over from the funding freeze! It’s a funding shortfall rather than a windfall!

 

cecinestpasunefundingthaw

Plus, All Night Programme announcer, Lloyd Scott, is leaving the organisation. I know that his listeners wish him all the best.

Let the good times roll! (sarc)

#FundRNZ

UPDATE (15/6/17 at 6:46pm): According to John Drinnan, “50 jobs to move north over time – but CEO pledges RNZ is not abandoning Wellington.”

Lunch with Hayley Holt in Auckland Central!

Feeling hungry this May? Want to help fund the Fund RNZ campaign? Well, why not place a bid to enjoy a tasty lunch with Hayley Holt? The fight needs funding, then the fight continues!

Further details can be found here!

 

 

RNZ has lots of finalists in the Canon Media Awards!

RNZ continues to produce excellent work! They have a lot of finalists in this year’s Canon Media Awards! We are lucky to have such an excellent public service broadcaster! They deserve and need all the funding that they can get!

Congratulations to:

Best Feature Writer

Tess McClure, “Banana Republic,” RNZ
Aaron Smale, “Child Welfare children,” RNZ

Feature Writer of the Year

Aaron Smale,  Mana magazine, New Zealand Geographic and RNZ

Feature Writer Business and Politics

Mava Enoka, The Wireless

Best Artworks / Graphics

Toby Morris, RNZ and The Wireless

Best Coverage of a Major News Event

RNZ, Kaikoura eathquake

Best Editorial Campaign or Project

RNZ, Panama papers

Best Trade / Specialist Publication and / or Website

Marcus Stickley, The Wireless

Cartoonist of the Year

Toby Morris, RNZ and The Wireless

Editorial Executive of the Year

Glen Scanlon, RNZ

Science and Technology Award

Alison Ballance RNZ

Opinion Writing Finalist

Simon Wilson, Public Address, RNZ and The Spinoff

Opinion Writer General

Toby Manhire and Toby Morris, RNZ

Best Investigation

Tess McClure, RNZ

Phil Pennington, RNZ

Reporter – Maori and Ethnic Affairs

Mohamed Hassan, RNZ

Aaron Smale, Mana magazine and RNZ

Reporter of the Year

Tess McClure, RNZ

The Canon Media Awards will be held on the 19th of May. Good luck to all of them!

You can view all of the Canon Media Awards finalists here.

Petition to increase funding for RNZ here.

If you want to donate, you can do so here.