A decade ago this month, the Law Commission produced a fit-for-purpose blueprint for regulation of New Zealand news media by a single body. The News Media Standards Authority did not happen and today we are no closer to changing oversight that is well past its use-by date.
The commission’s recommendations were set out in a report titled The News Media Meets ‘New Media’: Rights, responsibilities, and regulation in the digital age, produced by a team led by eminent media law expert Professor John Burrows.
The foreword to the report stated it was about how the law should respond to a challenge that had been articulated by then Chief Government Scientist, Sir Peter Gluckman. In an address on the impact of technology on adolescents, Sir Peter had expressed the view that the internet and digital technology have brought about the most profound change in how humans communicate since our species first acquired speech.
One might have thought that his perspective, and the report’s call for fundamental changes to media regulation, would have been an urgent wake-up call. Continue reading “Media regulation: Time to shut up and get on with it.”