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Should the government intervene in the media meltdown? 

Summarised by Centrist 

With the closure of Newshub, job cuts in TVNZ, and a sharp decline in trustworthiness from the public, the media faces a crisis prompting Professor Bryce Edwards to ask:  

“Should the Government intervene to aid companies like TVNZ and Newshub in continuing to provide news and current affairs services?” 

The Greens think so, but the public is not convinced. 

The media sector meltdown has meant that the Minister of Broadcasting, Melissa Lee, has faced sharp criticism from the left and particularly from Labour’s broadcasting spokesperson Willie Jackson. He labelled her as “stupid” and “out of her depth,” while criticising her lack of ideas and strategies as “shameful.” 

The irony lies in Jackson’s own recent time in the role, where many believe he could be guilty of the same shortcomings he’s attributing to Lee.

Edwards describes the previous government’s approach this way: “A ham-fisted merger of RNZ and TVNZ was attempted by Labour, and cost $16m, but had to be abandoned. The Public Investigative Journalism Fund was established, but set up in a way that actually reduced public trust in the media. A digital bill was developed very late in the term in government but was widely viewed as flawed.”

Edwards says the government may not want to be seen as bailing out the media sector over accusations of bias. Nor do they want to help one sector while appearing to let others languish. 

Read more over at Democracy Project

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