Change must be highly contagious

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought much-needed and urgent changes in journalism around the world, with more to come. New Zealand has so far been shielded from the worst effects of the contagion and this year will determine whether our media have been lulled into the same dangerous complacency that stopped the country’s shoppers from using contact-tracing scanners while infection rates skyrocket overseas.

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Before I was rudely interrupted…

I feel a little like onetime Daily Mirror columnist Cassandra.

During the Second World War, Cassandra (Sir William Connor) was a victim of newsprint shortages that saw his column suspended. When it resumed at war’s end, he began his column with “As I was saying before I was rudely interrupted…”

The interruption to the Tuesday Commentary on theknightlynews.com can’t be blamed on the international situation, although it is tempting to blame Covid-19 for everything from shortages to Deep State shenanigans. No, it was of my own making.

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Time to deliver, Minister

Kris Faafoi’s reappointment as Minister of Broadcasting and Media is welcome news, but now he has to deliver.

He was not dealt a particularly good hand when he inherited the portfolio from Clare Curran in the Ardern government’s first term. 

On her watch there was the expectation of a new RNZ TV channel plus a new funding body to disperse government funding to media. However, only a fraction of the necessary funding was forthcoming in Grant Robertson’s first budget. Policy was a long way from practice. Then she fell from grace after a series of blunders.

Faafoi had the chalice in his hands but he needed to have it forensically checked before he was ready to put it to his lips. As a former television journalist, he had the knowledge and experience to know it was likely to contain dangerous impurities.

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