RNZ thrown by horns of dilemma

Radio New Zealand has just discovered that a bull will toss you no matter which horn you grasp.

The particular horns it found itself upon belonged to the dilemma over whether it should broadcast material obtained illegally.

This was not another Rawshark data dump from Cameron Slater’s Dirty Politics email server. It related to material placed on the Dark Web by a group of international cyber extortionists. Continue reading “RNZ thrown by horns of dilemma”

Submission on proposals against incitement of hatred and discrimination in Aotearoa New Zealand

The following is a submission I made to the Ministry of Justice on 28 July 2021 relating to planned amendments to legislation for the control of hate speech.

My name is Gavin Peter Ellis. I am a media researcher and consultant. Formerly, I was editor-in-chief of the New Zealand Herald and a senior lecturer in politics and communications at the University of Auckland. I hold a Doctor of Philosophy degree in political studies. I am the author of two books and numerous articles on media. I am currently engaged (with a colleague from Melbourne University) in a study of media coverage of the Christchurch mosque attacks and subsequent prosecution. Our first paper can be accessed at https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1177083X.2019.1705358. I am a former chair of the Media Freedom Committee ( a forum of all mainstream New Zealand media) and was recipient of the Commonwealth Astor Award for services to press freedom. In 2015 I was inducted as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to journalism.

I wish to make the following observations on proposals to amend legislation in relation to proposals against incitement and discrimination in Aotearoa New Zealand. Continue reading “Submission on proposals against incitement of hatred and discrimination in Aotearoa New Zealand”

Tragic improvements to terrorism protocols

It is a tragic fact that new media protocols for dealing with acts of terrorism in New Zealand have benefitted from experience.

The protocols were negotiated by the Media Freedom Committee and officials led by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. They are an updated version of protocols first negotiated in 2004 and implemented the following year.

The updated version is clearly informed by the events in Christchurch in 2019. The preamble begins by saying that the mosque attacks “removed any doubt that New Zealand’s remoteness provided us with immunity from terrorism”.

That is hardly surprising, of course, but perceptions of terrorism have long been coloured by its most recent manifestations. Continue reading “Tragic improvements to terrorism protocols”

Radio rating recipes for success

Let’s get cooking. Take one set of commercial radio ratings. Slice and dice. Mix ingredients. Bake in a hot oven.

It produces winners every time. Note the plural. It’s there because both major commercial radio operators claim they baked the best cake in the second GfK commercial ratings survey of the year.

NZME crowed that Newstalk ZB “has continued its upward trajectory while retaining its position as New Zealand’s number one network”. Meanwhile MediaWorks claimed The Breeze was the top music station and had “the most listeners of all commercial radio stations”.

Who was right? Well, they both were. Continue reading “Radio rating recipes for success”