A new media regulatory body

February 19th, 2013 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The broadcasters have announced:

Broadcasting Industry to Launch Online News And Current Affairs Self Regulatory Body

New Zealand’s major radio and television broadcasters today confirmed the launch of a new industry funded, self-regulatory body, the Online Standards Authority “”, which will oversee online news and current affairs content standards.

Since the Law Commission’s paper, The News Media meets ‘New Media’ was published in December 2011, NZ television broadcasters TVNZ, SKY/Prime, MediaWorks TV, and Maori Television have worked together with Radio New Zealand, The Radio Network and MediaWorks Radio to provide an industry led, cost effective and consumer friendly solution to regulate online news and current affairs content. OMSA will publish a code of standards and provide a free complaints process overseen by the OMSA Complaints Committee.

The OMSA Complaints Committee will be chaired by retired Court of Appeal Judge, Sir Bruce Robertson and including the Chair; will comprise four public members and three broadcasting industry representatives.

The new body will use a similar format to that used by the Advertising Standards Authority and the NZ Press Council, as they are excellent examples of industry funded, self- regulatory regimes working effectively. OMSA acknowledges the advice and guidance that was provided by both organizations. OMSA Chair, Clare Bradley, said

“OMSA enjoys the total support of New Zealand broadcasters and the OMSA code and complaints process will apply to the websites operated by all OMSA members. The Authority has its genesis in the report of the Law Commission which identified a regulatory “gap” in the oversight of news and current affairs content solely published on line. We are delighted to be able to provide the solution to the Law Commission’s “gap”.

This does help plug a gap. Currently broadcaster’s websites are not covered by any code or body. Print media websites are covered by the Press Council.

It’s a step in the right direction, but a poor substitute to what we should have – which is a converged standards regulator for all media – totally independent of Government.

What is no clear is what the membership eligibility for OMSA will be, and associated fees. Should online publishers who wish to be seen as media join OMSA or the Press Council? Will the fees be affordable for non-commercial entities.

Tags: ,

23 Responses to “A new media regulatory body”

  1. Dave Mann (1,218 comments) says:

    This does help plug a gap

    …. no it doesn’t. There is no gap, and no need for another layer of bureaucracy and self important wankery.

    Honesty, DPF, how can you write these things?

    Vote: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. big bruv (13,887 comments) says:

    Well said Mr Mann.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Well it seems they have one less outfit to oversee.

    The APN outfit looks to be in free fall. Apparently their board lost half its members yesterday as they looked oblivion in the face. Half of them resigned. (echos of mainzeal maybe)

    I wasnt aware of this, but their share price was $6.50 in 2007. Yesterday it was 30cents.

    Mind you – looking at the quality of the Herald – its obvious why.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Manolo (13,767 comments) says:

    The gap is one of your invention, DPF.
    Your longing for another useless organisation is unfounded.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. RRM (9,919 comments) says:

    This does plug a gap. Read stuff.co.nz, written by one of our major news institutions, and tell me you think the writing is up to an acceptable standard. Clearly they are selling enough advertising to stay afloat, commercial pressures alone are not doing it.

    These people need the expectations, mentoring, and straight out censureship of their peers in the industry to help / make them perform at a higher level.

    OMSA probably needs to establish itself in readers’ minds as a Mark of excellence for web pages that are really worth reading, first….

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Dave Mann (1,218 comments) says:

    As a member of the New Media, DPF, I suppose you’ll be only too keen to fling open your doors to all sorts of busy little regulatory ferrets and speech-control gnomes who want to make sure that anything you publish has their approval?

    And what will be the licensing process for commenters in this wonderful new world? Does the National Party want to share this with us, or are they going to simply launch it one day as a regulatory fait accompli?

    Gosh, I can’t wait. It’ll be a much safer world for all of us knowing that our thoughts and minds have the official sanction of wise people who know what is good for us.

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. RRM (9,919 comments) says:

    Gosh, I can’t wait. It’ll be a much safer world for all of us knowing that our thoughts and minds have the official sanction of wise people who know what is good for us.

    You miss the point completely of what they are talking about.

    By way of an example that works:
    Professional Engineers belong to the Institute of professional Engineers of NZ, and abide by their ethics codes, and have to maintain professional competency to keep our registrations. What we design [or in the context at hand, write] isn’t “sanctioned” by any “busy little regulatory ferrets” but the standards of our work and our conduct are expected to be up to the level our peers would expect. If you are interested in performing at a high level and being seen to be doing so by your peers in the industry, and by your customers, this is something you welcome.

    Oh and the nuts and bolts of the roof over your head really are safer for this kind of industry self-regulation. ;-)

    I look at how slack a lot of the work done by the news reporting industry is, and it is abundantly clear they need to start talking to each other about what standards they should be aspiring to.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Dave Mann (1,218 comments) says:

    Oh, RMM, so you are a proponent of the ‘best practice’ bullshit are you? Well, that explains a lot! :D

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Redbaiter (8,823 comments) says:

    “busy little regulatory ferrets”

    Great phrase Dave, so perfectly descriptive.

    Mr Farrar, the confirmed and constant British Leyland driving Communist RRM is with you on this.

    Food for thought?

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. RRM (9,919 comments) says:

    Interesting question Dave.

    If you want to trade inanities, are you a proponent of selling your clients the scrappiest rubbish you can get away with?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. David Farrar (1,894 comments) says:

    I’m amazed that all these people who do nothing but complain about poor media standards think it is a bad thing to have media have a body (independent of Govt) which can hear complaints against them for inaccurate or unfair reporting.

    I guess their preference is for the media to have no standards at all, and that they can say or do anything and people have no recourse except legal action.

    For my 2c I think self-regulation is a very good idea. It is government regulation that is the enemy, not self-regulation.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Dave Mann (1,218 comments) says:

    No, RMM, I am not a proponent of selling my clients the scrappiest rubbish I can get away with. I run my own business and I am a proponent of offering my clients the very best service, product and price possible so that they are delighted with their choice in buying from me and come back again and again for more. I don’t need any interfering bureaucratic fuckwits or busybody ‘standards police’ to tell me or my clients how to run their lives, thank you. This is especially true of today’s media where, as standards have declined, its customer base is increasingly voting with their feet to better pastures. Its called ‘the market’ mate :D

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. RRM (9,919 comments) says:

    Dave –
    Well if you don’t want anything to do with this OMSA, then presumably membership is not compulsory, and if it’s not, what’s your problem?

    the confirmed and constant British Leyland driving Communist RRM

    The next time you speak of anyone’s OBSESSION with Redbaiter, I’ll laugh. :-)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    I fail to see why there should be regulation at all. Let the market decide which media survives.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    DPF>I guess their preference is for the media to have no standards at all, and that they can say or do anything and people have no recourse except legal action.

    Two other recourses:

    1. Stop paying for bad media. The crashing share price of the NZ Herald and the Age and SMH in Australia show that this is effective.

    2. Public ridicule. One of Investigate magazine’s columnists has copped a load of this in the last week or so, and now has zero credibility anywhere apart from the ranks of NZ First.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. Manolo (13,767 comments) says:

    No ifs or buts. Dave Mann win this fight over comrade RRM by a devastating KO.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Redbaiter (8,823 comments) says:

    “For my 2c I think self-regulation is a very good idea. It is government regulation that is the enemy, not self-regulation.”

    However this was a move primarily carried out to head off government regulation.

    You’re right of course, who cares if these largely odious organisations set up some phony “self regulatory” body and jointly participate in some farcical kangaroo court process. Give (for example) homosexual political campaigners a politically correct stick to beat them with. I hope it costs them a fortune.

    For myself, I’m happy with things the way they are.

    But if these organisations hadn’t got their crummy little tribunal together, what’s the bet there wasn’t some odious government group lurking in the halls of the bureaucracy ready to step in. Probably headed up by Prasad or some other odious statist.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. Alan Wilkinson (1,878 comments) says:

    Can someone please enlighten me why the ASA is empowered to decide what a company can paint on its vehicles?

    If I were the owner of Independent Forklifts my next paint job would feature the ASA and a finger.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Nigel Kearney (1,013 comments) says:

    RRM’s engineering analogy is obviously wrong because it is not a matter of opinion whether a bridge stays up or falls down.

    If this is being done to head off government regulation, then it is the moral and practical equivalent of the government doing it. But I doubt that is the case here.

    Why would media organizations voluntarily pay to subject themselves to the whims of busy little regulatory ferrets? Most likely because they want the public to regard their web sites as more trustworthy than others that don’t sign up. If bloggers don’t sign up they can be attacked for that. If they do sign up, they can be buried in complaints that they don’t have the resources to deal with. Sounds like a pretty useful tool if you are a big media organization.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. RRM (9,919 comments) says:

    Nigel –

    And nor is it a matter of opinion whether two men appeared in court in Hamilton yesterday in relation to the shooting of a 44 year old! It is either the truth, or it is a falsehood.

    I would love to hear more about busy little regulatory ferrets, they sound interesting, though I’ve never seen one…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    Dot Com: “NZ can become a juristiction protecting the privacy of users”

    KIM DOTCOM’S MEGA GOES BITCOIN

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. Dave Mann (1,218 comments) says:

    Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms RRM

    Thank you for your interest in our Busy Little Regulatory Ferrets program, which was established some decades ago and has now grown to oversee almost every facet of New Zealanders’ public and private lives.

    We are pleased to say that our BLRF program expands every year and it is with pride that we can report that we continue to expand and thrive, whichever ‘party’ is in ‘government’, for we know that, deep down, we are making New Zealand a much safer, happier and contented home for its sheeple.

    We are unable to list all our contact details here because space on a blog is restricted to avoid the PennyBright Syndrome – however, for a brief introduction to where you can contact your neares Busy Little Regulatory Ferret, please follow this link”

    Please be aware, however, that this list is just a starting point and the page only covers the ‘A’s. To obtain an overview of all our Busy Little regulatory Ferrets you will need to scroll through the pages ‘B’ to “W’.

    Thank you again for your interest in the program.

    Yours faithfully

    B. Shitt
    Chief Regulatory Little Ferret

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. Dave Mann (1,218 comments) says:

    Oops sorry… the link didn’t appear properly…. http://newzealand.govt.nz/directory

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote