NZ media in existential crisis

The following is a submission I made today to the Parliamentary Epidemic Response Select Committee chaired by Simon Bridges. The committee sat for four hours hearing from media groups about the effect of the Covid-19 crisis. I said I could not over-emphasise the urgency of the issues facing our commercial media. One chief executive told me the industry needed to be “immediately put in emergency triage”. However, like all emergency care, that is only the beginning and I urged the adoption of a three-stage process to create a new, sustainable media ecosystem. Continue reading “NZ media in existential crisis”

Aggregation of editorial power

New Zealand’s two major newspaper groups, Fairfax New Zealand and NZME have announced their intention to merge and have lodged an application with the Commerce Commission seeking its approval for the union.

The commission invited submissions on the application. I made a submission on the basis that, should it grant the application, the commission impose conditions to overcome potential issues that could have serious civic and democratic implications.

The Commission’s State of Preliminary Issues addressed a number of issues relating to readers but did so largely in the context of the relationship between NZME/Fairfax and competing media. My submission suggested that it must also examine a number of issues that were not relational but internal and regulatory. Specifically, these relate to the aggregation of editorial power and regulatory influence. This is my submission: Continue reading “Aggregation of editorial power”