JMAD Has Just Released Its Annual Media Ownership Report. How Did RNZ Fare?

Auckland University of Technology’s Journalism, Media and Democracy Research Centre has just released its annual media ownership report. You can read it here: JMAD-2017-Report.

So, how did RNZ fare in the analysis of the past year? The Radio New Zealand website had, in July 2017, 8.1 million page views (up 31%) and 1.8 million users (up 33%). Aside from this demonstrating how popular RNZ is with the public, it is also great to see that the page views and user stat numbers also create a palindrome!

This year, Radio New Zealand has increased its listener numbers and is doing very well when compared with commercial radio stations around the country. The JMAD report highlighted some of the gains that were noted in the GFK radio surveys that were conducted this year. Highlights for RNZ include:
  • Morning Report performed strongly, from January to June 2017, RNZ had gained 8.6 percent in listeners and had up to 467,000 listeners a week.
  • The July 2017 radio ratings for RNZ show that RNZ National’s weekly audience had grown to 619,000 people, up 7 %, which is almost 15% of all people over the age of 10 in New Zealand.
  • The September radio rankings revealed that RNZ had a record number of people tuning into its stations. RNZ stated that this was over 691,000. This is the highest figure ever recorded for RNZ.
  • RNZ National maintained its place as the second most listened-to station in the country after The Edge.

To see RNZ’s audience figures from the latest GFK survey, please see the link below:

The report also states that:
RNZ is the only advertising free public interest broadcaster in New Zealand. In 2016, the Radio New Zealand Amendment Bill was passed in Parliament, and the RNZ Charter was updated to reflect the broadcaster’s commercial capacity. The charter states that RNZ continues to provide services commercial free, but it can also enhance its funding by collaboration and partnerships. In 2017, RNZ had multiple content partnerships with other media outlets including Bauer Media and Fairfax. Maori Television, also funded by the government, is specifically required to revitalise the Maori language.
 Even with the charter change, RNZ is still in financial trouble as what little money they do make from 3rd party websites isn’t enough to fix any of RNZ’s financial problems.
In the last Budget, RNZ was given a funding increase of $11.4 million over 4 years for operational purposes. This works out to be just $2.8 million extra per year.
We have had a change of government and Labour has promised to increase funding for journalism, $38 million extra to be divided between RNZ and NZ On Air. It is said that approximately $20-30 million of this would go to RNZ. RNZ would also expand to include a public service television channel called RNZ Plus. All of this will be overseen by a new Public Media Funding Commission.


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