Multiple media reviews and the lefthand-righthand rule

When I look at my hands, I’m sure the left one knows what the right is doing. I hope the same can be said of the various New Zealand Government enquiries into a broad range of issues that impact on the media.

Each has its own course and involves different government agencies, with a total of four ministers at the helm.

Each enquiry is working diligently to address areas that have long needed overhaul. The Ministry of Justice’s proposed changes to laws relating to hate speech and discrimination arose out of the Christchurch Mosque attacks but the need predated those atrocities. The Department of Internal Affairs’ review of content regulation had a similar genesis and it, too, has long needed revision (not least over the issue of multiple mainstream media regulators). And work has been progressing on a new public service media entity and, separately, the reshaping of Māori media. Continue reading “Multiple media reviews and the lefthand-righthand rule”

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”