INDEPENDENT NEWS

Public media monolith threatens diversity of views

Published: Fri 7 Feb 2020 02:42 PM
Any business case for a taxpayer-funded mega-broadcaster must ensure taxpayers are not funding political propaganda, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.
Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “In today’s opinion-led, personality-dominated media environment, journalism tends to push one political narrative or another. This is tolerable when audiences have a choice of outlets – we can always switch to a different channel. However, problems arise when the Government tries to convert commercial operators into ‘public service’ platforms, with taxpayers forced to fund material they find politically distasteful.”
“Specifically, a taxpayer-funded media monolith is likely to favour a high-tax political environment that will ensure its own survival.”
“Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi needs to direct PwC to include in its business case a strong focus on political diversity – such as independent reviews with input from taxpayers.”
“Then there's the basic issue of value for money. Mergers have a bad track record on this front – even when explicitly pitched to provide efficiency. Take the amalgamation of rural and urban fire services – a promised $47 million saving turned into a cost blowout of more than $300 million.”
“The business case will fail to effectively acknowledge these costs. Consultants hired by the Government have a perverse incentive to tell the Minister what he wants to hear.”
New Zealand Taxpayers' Union
New Zealand's grassroots campaign for lower taxes and less government waste
The New Zealand Taxpayers' Union is an independent activist group, dedicated to being the voice for Kiwi taxpayers in the corridors of power. It's here to fight government waste and make sure New Zealanders get value for money from their tax dollar. New Zealanders are invited to join and donate at http://taxpayers.org.nz
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