Coalition For Better Broadcasting Launches

Personally I’ve been supporting public broadcasting for sometime, promoting it and helping where I can with campaigns to save it etc. More recently I’ve been calling on the creation of a state funded newspaper and/or the nationalisation of both Fairfax and APN’s NZ assets. While the latter is at the more centrist of the political spectrum, it’s not the one most likely to happen this year, something which may just though with a change of government is the CBB, here’s my piece on it reposted from the original at the Western Community News:

This morning the Coalition for Better Broadcasting launched setting itself the task of promoting public service broadcasting and media. Spokesman Myles Thomas “We launched the website and Facebook this morning and we’ve had hundreds and hundreds of members sign up”.

Myles says the Coalition was born from the successful campaign to save Radio NZ and the unsuccessful but widely popular Save TVNZ 7 campaigns. “We saw a huge groundswell of support across NZ for the campaigns and that was the encouragement we needed to start the Coalition for Better Broadcasting”

The organization is a registered not for profit charitable trust with a board of trustees. The Board of Trustees is voted for by the membership. That’s one of the reasons the organization is calling for members, so they can elect the Board and also to help fund the campaign and to show their support.

The 10 point plan is calling for a return to public service principles in broadcasting stating that commercial media are incapable of adequately delivering civic, democratic, educational and cultural content. This is due to the commercial nature of the current media landscape with a lot of content never scheduled or produced.

The CBB would support the reinstatement of a commercial-free, publicly funded TV channel similar to TVNZ7. An end to the freeze on funding to Radio NZ and for funding to be ring fenced to ensure its funding levels remain sufficient.

To assist paying for the return to public broadcasting and reversing the cuts, they are suggesting highly profitable pay TV operators such as Sky TV help to fund the initiatives through a small levy and licensing fees. They are also calling for a review of the current NZ On Air funding priorities to ensure a full range of public service genres are supported and screened.

Public education and information is crucial to healthy democracy and civil society and new advances in technology make it easier for it to be delivered and more productive. The CBB is calling for educational outcomes to be considered in the funding of public service broadcasting and media.

Other points in the CBB plan cover public interest journalism, assisting healthy market competition, getting what we pay for as taxpayers, promoting diversity and supporting the extension of the role of the Telecommunications Commissioner to include broadcasting and related content forms.

People wishing to know more can check out Coalition for Better Broadcasting on Facebook or http://betterbroadcasting.co.nz

By Max Dillon Coyle

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