Stop the government corruption of the media

Stop the government corruption of the media

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Why this petition matters

Started by Colin Kingdom

‘NZ On Air’ has announced $18 million in grants for 110 new taxpayer-funded journalists, formalising the result of the second competitive funding round of the Public Interest Journalism Fund.

It was in February that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi announced the three-year fund to ‘support democracy and ensure New Zealanders had access to trusted information’, sparking fears of political bias and the potential erasure of independent journalism.

Combined with the first funding round, $29m has now been committed to a mix of journalism roles, defined journalism Projects, and Industry Development initiatives.

While NZ On Air Head of Journalism Raewyn Rasch says the funding would deliver ‘strong public interest journalism’, public opinion and pundits tell another story.

Earlier this year, a study from AUT’s Centre for Journalism, Media and Democracy revealed trust in mainstream news media had slipped across the nation, with a mere 48% of New Zealanders having faith in the reliability of news outlets - a decline of 5% over the course of last year alone.

National MP Melissa Lee says millions of taxpayer dollars are allegedly being spent to promote the Government’s agenda, rather than supporting any ‘public interests’.

‘Millions of taxpayer dollars channelled through NZ on Air and other platforms to generate content, supposedly without any Ministerial interference. Yet it is clear from looking at the latest funding decisions that we are seeing only certain voices being heard.’

Lee also says a growing bias in media reporting is something New Zealanders should concern themselves with if they wish to promote healthy civil discourse and discussion surrounding policy being imposed upon them. 

128 have signed. Let’s get to 200!