Reading, hearing, and watching stories about New Zealanders,
for New Zealanders, by New Zealanders, is critical to our
democracy and adds to our national identity.
The traditional media is facing financial and technological disruption. There’s a lot of great journalism in New Zealand, however in recent years we have seen proposed mergers and cuts to staff numbers.
In response to this uncertainty, the government needs to step up to ensure the future of public interest journalism on paper, on our screens, and on the radio.
To help make that happen, the Green Party will:
Establish a New Zealand Public Journalism Fund to support public interest journalism and help tell New Zealand stories across a range of platforms.
2.Restore Radio New Zealand’s funding, which has been frozen since 2008.
How will it work?
Public Interest Journalism Fund
With traditional media facing challenges from new technologies and changing business models,it’s important for the Government to support public interest journalism continuing in New Zealand.
The Public Interest Journalism Fund will be established to support telling New Zealand
stories across a range of platforms, including print, television, and online (for example, through podcasts or web series). The fund will be established with an initial annual budget of $3 million.
The fund will be administered by Creative New Zealand. Grants will be dispersed by a
rotating panel of journalists and a range of other experienced people to ensure diversity.
The Board of Creative New Zealand will appoint people to the panel on advice from
officials. Politicians will not be involved in this process.
Grants will be available for individual pieces of work and for annual salaries/costs
that enable a body of work. The fund could be used for specialist round reporting,
investigative research, or areas of public interest.
The funding criteria will be available for all platforms, and grants will be awarded based
on the public interest and relevance to New Zealand. The principal criteria will be
whether the work being funded will help New Zealanders to be better informed.
Work funded must be freely available on at least one platform, i.e. not paywalled or
requiring any kind of subscription fee.
Public Journalism Fund
•Grant recipients will not be required to bring their own private sector funding
to the table, but will be required to demonstrate likely audiences and distribution
• Recipients will be audited against appropriate audience reach metrics, to be determined by the panel in consultation with Creative New Zealand and the Ministry of Culture and Heritage. These may vary depending on distribution platform. The
results will help to determine future funding for previous applicants.
Restoring funding to Radio New Zealand
Radio New Zealand is the cornerstone of publicly-owned, public interest, nationwide broadcasting in New Zealand, and has operated under a funding freeze since 2008. While
it continues to deliver a high quality service and has broadened its content, it’s important to address the real-term funding cuts under the National Government. The Green Party will restore Radio New Zealand funding to at least 2008 levels (inflation adjusted) – costing an additional $3.2 million in the first year, which would increase baseline funding from $33.916 million to $37.142 million.
Why do we need this?
Journalism is critical to democracy and healthy societies. Traditional media has seen significant changes and challenges with the rise of new technologies and platforms.
The New Zealand government spends less per capita than almost all OECD countries on
broadcasting, and Radio New Zealand has had a funding freeze since 2008.