National’s Broadcasting Policy

has announced its 2008 Broadcasting Policy.

Let’s look at the different aspects:

Maintain state ownership of Television

No surprises there. Personally I would like an investigation done of whether you could sell off TV2 and turn TV One into a public broadcaster, but that is a radical change.

Continue support for Maori Television

They’ve certainly done a good job, especially compared to previous efforts. However I would like to see reliable rating released.

Continue funding for Radio New Zealand, Pacific Radio Trust, and Access Radio

Again, as expected.

Make TVNZ charter funding contestable through NZ on Air and make it available to other free-to-air broadcasters on a competitive basis so that the best projects get onto our screens

Now is a significant change. Basically the failed Maharey charter model will be abandoned. The model is a failure – even ex TVNZ CEO Ian Fraser (a huge fan of public broadcasting) has said it was impossible giving TVNZ competing demands of being commercial and being a public broadcaster. Plus we have seen charter money go into ludicrous areas.

means TVNZ will focus on being a commercial broadcaster, and the charter money will go into NZ on Air as additional funding for NZ programmes – which all channels and producers can compete for.

Switch off analogue by 2015

I’ll believe it when it happens.

Maintain funding for the platform

How much is this?

Demand public accountability for the $79 million of direct funding allocated to TVNZ6 & TVNZ7

Does mean that they will make these channels available on Sky? I hope so, as if I am paying $79 million through my taxes on them, I want to get then through the medium I prefer.

Ensure transparent processes for radio frequency allocation and renewal that create fair competition and take into account the range of community and broadcaster interests.

Yawn.

Insist on regular publication of rating/audience/ household penetration for any broadcasting entity receiving state funding.

aspect is very good. It is disgraceful that Radio NZ (and Maori TV) do not allow those who fund them (taxpayers) know how many viewers their various programmes get. Information is key.

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