Government media strategies: A dating game that may not end well

I am worried.

I am worried that New Zealand’s media ecosystem is about to be adversely affected by Government initiatives that should be closely coordinated but which are each taking their own course.

There may be a grand strategy but, if that is so, the New Zealand public have not seen it.

Instead, we are slowly becoming aware of strands of policy that have different focal points, different timeframes, and different potential impacts. There are cross-currents that mean each of these policies will have consequences for media outside the primary focus.

The situation is made worse by the fact that much of the policy work has dealt with high level concepts that leave the detail until later.

These combined factors are not necessarily a recipe for disaster, but they are certainly from the Unintended Consequences Cookbook. Continue reading “Government media strategies: A dating game that may not end well”

Heavy work ahead on Public Media Bill

Today the Aotearoa New Zealand Public Media Bill will be introduced to Parliament. It will have a long journey before it is fit for purpose.

The Bill gives effect to the Government’s plan to replace TVNZ and RNZ with a new entity designed for the digital age, but the legislation as it stands does little more than cement the two public broadcasters together.

On first reading (mine, not Parliament’s), it looks like a legislative instrument to give effect to the merger, but its stated intent and functions are much wider. This is supposed to be the legal foundation upon which a new age of public media is to be built.

The general policy statement accompanying the Bill says: “This Bill seeks to strengthen the delivery of public media services by establishing a new public media entity.” It may achieve the latter, but it falls far short of guaranteeing its objective. Continue reading “Heavy work ahead on Public Media Bill”