A four-letter word spells trouble for media

New hate speech laws are heading our way and we may have grounds to dislike them. In fact, we might hate them.

Communication Minister Kris Faafoi has provided Cabinet with an indication of what we can expect in legislation that was flagged following the Christchurch mosque attacks. We will see legislation that seeks to change the incitement provisions of the Human Rights Act and make incitement a criminal offence under the Crimes Act.

The thinking in Faafoi’s 11-page Cabinet paper parallels some of the thinking in proposed British legislation that is considerably more wide ranging. The UK Bill attempts to regulate harmful digital communications in way that far outstrips our own laws in that area by imposing on the likes of Facebook and Twitter a ‘duty of care’. Continue reading “A four-letter word spells trouble for media”

Elusive ‘second package’ of media assistance

Finance Minister Grant Robertson delivered a budget with big numbers this afternoon but, for Covid-affected media organisations seeking assistance, it was decidedly small on detail about what would be spend to help them and where.

Last month, when Communications Minister Kris Faafoi announced a $50 million media assistance package overwhelmingly aimed at broadcasters, the prospect of a second package in the budget was held out to the industry.

“I want to be very clear,” he said, “that this first phase of support alone will not be sufficient to see the sector through a prolonged period of restrictions and reduced advertising.  A second package of support is being developed and will be submitted for the COVID-19 budget discussions in May.”

It may, indeed, have been submitted but there was no indication today what that ‘second package of support’ might be. This was all the finance minister said in his Budget speech on the topic: “Media industry assistance is being developed over coming months”. And, as I write this, I am still waiting for any amplification from Kris Faafoi. Continue reading “Elusive ‘second package’ of media assistance”

Welcome relief for broadcasters but print remains hard-pressed

The Government’s $50-million media package announced today has bought broadcasters some time, but it could put nails in the coffins of some of our print titles.

Little in the package assists newspaper and magazine operations to overcome the disastrous decline in retail advertising that accompanied the Covid-19 lockdown. Continue reading “Welcome relief for broadcasters but print remains hard-pressed”