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Opposition rises against “Soviet style media bill”

Summarised by Centrist 

Sean Plunkett from The Platform interviewed Canterbury independent journalist Chris Lynch, discussing the controversial Fair Digital News Distribution Bill backed by NZ National Party’s Minister for Broadcast, Paul Goldsmith. 

Plunkett criticises the bill, labelling it a “Soviet style media Bill,” arguing it unfairly supports legacy media against major internet companies like Facebook.

Lynch says that Facebook has been a vital resource for his journalism, particularly in Christchurch, facilitating news distribution and community engagement. 

He warns that if the bill passes, Facebook might restrict news sharing, as seen in Canada and potentially Australia, negatively impacting smaller, diverse media outlets. Lynch has pivoted his audience towards his website, but he remains concerned about the broader repercussions for independent media.

Plunkett and Lynch argue that legacy media’s complaints about social media overshadow their benefits, such as enhanced audience connectivity. Lynch recounts his success using Facebook for breaking news, filling gaps left by traditional media. 

He criticises the government’s stance, suggesting it caters to legacy media’s interests, risking the marginalisation of independent and smaller voices in New Zealand’s media landscape. Lynch remains sceptical of Goldsmith’s intentions, foreseeing adverse outcomes if the bill proceeds.

Hear the whole interview over at The Platform

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