Probably the most common suggestion is taxpayer funding for news as an essential public service, like “schools, hospitals and courts” in the words of Nicky Hager.
“Public funding is the only viable model, and is entirely appropriate since news is a public service,” he writes. He wants “new and greatly strengthened publicly owned news organisations, working alongside the privately owned ones”. This would cost four times what is currently spent on news by central government, he estimates.
Co-editor Tiso endorses the idea, even as he acknowledges that John Key’s National-led Government is unlikely to make such a commitment.
It is the socialist ideal – the government funds the news. Funding dished out by government appointees.
This also effectively kills off private news companies, which means you get left with the only news available being from the Government.
Wellington academic Peter Thompson offers an alternative to taxpayer funding – a “marginal levy” or small charge added to the price consumers pay for phone and internet services, advertising, subscription and on-demand services such as Netflix and retail goods such as televisions.
The levy – 0.5 per cent to 1 per cent – would raise between $80 million and $160m a year, which Thompson would devote mostly to Radio NZ, Maori TV and NZ on Air, although a contestable fund would be available to corporate media.
Why not also tax car sales and use that to fund blogs? And yes I am being sarcastic.