INDEPENDENT NEWS

Heavy-Handed Political Interference In TVNZ

Published: Wed 9 May 2001 02:47 PM
Comments attributed to TVNZ chair Ross Armstrong in this morning's Independent Business Weekly effectively confirm a pattern of heavy-handed political interference in the company's news and current affairs, according to National MP Murray McCully.
"For months there have been rumours that key players in the current Government wanted to see the departure of TVNZ's Head of News and Current Affairs Paul Cutler. Today's reported statement by Armstrong that Cutler's departure was a 'dream scenario' and 'a change made in heaven' effectively confirm those rumours, and others suggesting that Cutler perceived unacceptable levels of outside interference in news matters, contributing to his decision to depart.
"Today's comments by Armstrong also leave the distinct impression that there may be a completely inappropriate level of participation by politically appointed directors in the appointment of the next Head of News and Current Affairs.
"Why is the politically appointed chairman, and not the chief executive, the spokesperson for the company on the process for appointing the next head of news and current affairs? Why was it the politically appointed chairman who announced the modified news programme arrangements for this year, and indicated which presenters were to be assigned to each bulletin? Is there some basis to the rumour that Cutler's departure is at least partly in response to directorial interference in news changes?
"These are serious matters which would have been treated as a national scandal if they had occurred under the previous government. They are made all the more worrying against the background of structural changes confirmed by Michael Cullen last weekend, which would involve TVNZ's viability depending on regular trips with the begging bowl to the 9th floor of the Beehive," Mr McCully said.
Ends

Next in New Zealand politics

On Where The Politically-donated Bucks Should Be Stopping
By: Gordon Campbell
Govt Acts On Fuel Market Competition
By: New Zealand Government
18,400 Children Lifted Out Of Poverty
By: New Zealand Government
On Our Unreal Optimism About The Economic Impact Of Coronavirus
By: Gordon Campbell
Statement From National Party
By: New Zealand National Party
SFO Confirms Receipt Of Police File On Christchurch Mayor
By: Serious Fraud Office
Statement Of Jami-lee Ross - "Spoke Up Now Set Up"
By: Jami-Lee Ross
Foreign donation loophole still wide open
By: Jami-Lee Ross
No Place For Dirty Politics In Fisheries
By: Our Seas Our Future
Transparency International warns need for political funding reform is urgent
By: RNZ
Man Charged Over National Party Donations Planned To Go To Party's Candidate College
By: RNZ
Jacinda Ardern Tries To Soothe Virus Rift With China
By: RNZ
Coronavirus: Expert Warns More Flights Could Be Cancelled
By: RNZ
National Party Donations Case: 'I Am Now Being Painted As The Scapegoat' - Jami-Lee Ross
By: RNZ
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media