The New Public Media Entity has turned into a Churchillian quotation, and it is not “their finest hour”.
Following last Thursday’s Budget, the project to replace Television New Zealand and RNZ has become “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”.
The Budget told us the project would receive $327 million of Government funding over three years in roughly equal annual instalments. The total appropriation for the “Strong Public Media” project over the next four years is $370 million, meaning $43 million will be used to establish the new entity and for the Ministry for Culture & Heritage to “monitor’ it.
That is a sizeable chunk of money, but the Government does expect some pay-back from the commercial operations of what is now Television New Zealand. It estimates a dividend of $306 million over six years.
To hell with Longfellow’s Rainy Day: Into every media commentator’s life a little sun must shine. And there is no better time for it than the eve of the festive season.
We have had a year that put even greater strains on journalism than usual. While journalists have never been the most popular people in the country, 2021 marked a dark juncture when the disaffected section of the community turned on them. That was on top of the stresses of Covid restrictions that have adversely affected advertising and (for Auckland newsrooms at least) had many journalists working from home.
So, it’s time to Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive. When Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen wrote that song during the Second World War, things were starting to turn in the Allies’ favour. I would like to think the same can be said for journalism as we say goodbye to the second year of Covid and look forward to 2022. Continue reading “It’s Christmas: E-Lim-I-Nate the negative”→