INDEPENDENT NEWS

TVNZ Charter Should Support Independent News

Published: Thu 10 May 2001 10:01 AM
The government must make it absolutely clear to the Board of TVNZ that it will not tolerate political interference in any aspect of TVNZ news and current affairs, Green Party Broadcasting spokesperson Sue Kedgley said today.
Ms Kedgley said the Chairman of the TVNZ Board, Dr Ross Armstrong, appears to have overstepped the mark in his recent comments about the departure of News and Current Affairs head Mr Paul Cutler from the organisation.
In making these comments, Dr Armstrong was in danger of eroding TVNZ's ability to fulfil its obligations, spelt out in the recent public service charter, to provide an impartial and independent news and television programming service.
The government cannot impose obligations on TVNZ to provide independent, impartial news and current affairs programmes on the one hand, without guaranteeing TVNZ's freedom from political interference on the other hand, and this should have been spelled out clearly in the charter, Ms Kedgley said.
"Political interference in the editorial and programming decisions in TVNZ is intolerable. It will not only erode leadership and morale within the organisation, but it also strikes at the integrity and heart of the organisation."
Ends

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