The video clip Goodbye Kiwi posted by Trevor below kind of says it. Circulate it
Public broadcasting in New Zealand is in tatters following a statement by the new RadioNZ chair Richard Griffin that he’s going to move our state radio broadcaster towards commercialisation. He says RadioNZ wont become a commercial product but in the next breath revealed he is open to sponsorship of some radio programmes at the state broadcaster even if a law change is needed.
He said: “This board has got the will and determination to make it happen not just to enhance the product, but to enhance the revenue for the product”
A more pragmatic approach to broadcasting is what he promises.
The revelations were made on Mediawatch at the weekend. You can listen here.
Griffin, a former press secretary to Jim Bolger denied his appointment was political, but his agenda fits the Government’s view to strip our state broadcasters of public broadcasting functions and turn them towards cost recovery and even profit. He’s been appointed the chair after less than a year on the board.
Of his critics he says “conspiracy theories make good copy”.
Commercial sponsorship of RNZ programmes would be the first step towards full commercialisation. Radio New Zealand is the last bastion of public service broadcasting, free from corporate interests and should remain that way.
The National Government has already shown that it is more interested in supporting commercial organisations than public broadcasters with its bailout of Mediaworks with a $43 million low interest deferred payment for its radio spectrum licence. It has canned funding to TVNZ7, the new digital public TV channe
There’s a crisis in public broadcasting in NZ.
Last week Labour called on the nation’s top thinkers, business leaders, politicians, academics and senior media industry figures to converge to discuss the future of public broadcasting and media in New Zealand.
In the meantime, there’s a lot of people out there who care about public broadcasting in New Zealand. Our ability to tell our stories. Our ability to provide the public with independent critical analysis, reporting and investigation. Not owned by corporate interests.
Every democracy in the world has it. Every nation should have it. We’re losing ours
Here’s what the Sunday Stat Times editorial said on 17th April.Can’t find a link online
SundayStar Times Editorial, 17 April 2011
THREE CHEERS for another political appointment from National. This time it is a spot at the head of Radio New Zealand for one of its greatest mates. Broadcasting Minister Jonathan Coleman announced last week that Richard Griffin will chair the board.
Coleman was quick to point out the undoubted fine qualities of Griffin, and his distinguished journalistic career, but neglected to mention the area of his background which the cynics might suggest played an even more significant part in his appointment – his political service to National.
From 1993 to 1998 Griffin was chief press secretary and senior media adviser to Prime Minister Jim Bolger and his cabinet. These days the former political editor of Radio NZ – who is a life member of the parliamentary press gallery – is a director of a public affairs company.
Griffin’s rise has been rapid, given that he was appointed to the Radio NZ board in only May last year, but Coleman announced he would replace Christine Grice, and that he had “added real value” to the board. He went further still in his gushing praise, pointing out Griffin’s “ideal background” to chair the organisation.
Since it assumed office, National has appointed six new members to the seven-person board, and in perhaps the most telling of his statements, Coleman announced the board “now clearly understands the government’s requirements to provide a quality service for the funding available”.