As much as I’m reluctant to give any oxygen to the views of bloggers who are the mouthpieces for the National Party I think it’s time David Farrar at Kiwiblog was held to account for his disingenuous views on public broadcasting.
For months and months I have been saying the faux outrage over TVNZ7 is misguided. I have consistently said that what matters is the programmes.
Then he said this in a second blogpost:
I think this shows that the Save TVNZ7 movement is all about ego and politics, and has little to do with an actual desire to have good public broadcasting in NZ
It’s incredible that you can see the survival of a single programme as adequate compensation for the loss of an entire channel that delivered a full, advertising-free menu of great New Zealand and international content that isn’t being picked up by the commercially-focused networks.
The rescue of Media 7 – now Media 3 – is no great thanks to TV3. It won’t cost them anything. NZ On Air is picking up the bill. You might like to wonder how NZ On Air suddenly found that funding when it cut its funding for Q+A and the Nation by $156,000 this year, after the pressure came on from TVNZ for more “commercially attractive” New Zealand programmes.
You can find another measure of the pressure on the production of “good public broadcasting” in NZ On Air’s Local Content report last year. NZ On Air only managed to fund just 14% of all the first-run local content screened on the six major channels last year, compared to 21% the year before. While it trumpeted that it was funding more local content on our TV channels, it was in fact counting all the repeats. The real figures showed original local content had in fact decreased.
Its statement of intent indicates the decline is going to continue this year and again in the next financial year when total NZ On Air funded hours are forecast to fall to 767 hours, down from 788.5 hours this year, and 875 hours the year before that. That’s what’s happening to good public broadcasting, Mr Farrar.