Should state broadcasters reveal pay packets?

Stuff reports:

One TVNZ employee is banking more than a $1 million a year, but the state broadcaster is refusing to say who it is.

Traditionally, the healthiest pay packet has always gone to the chief executive, but has polarising Seven Sharpfrontman, Mike Hosking, edged out boss Kevin Kenrick as TVNZ’s biggest earner?

A spokeswoman for TVNZ said the broadcaster “didn’t have any plans to identify the remuneration of presenters or other individual employees”.

The question came as the British government prepared to force the BBC to reveal the size of pay packets given to 109 of its top broadcast journalists and personalities.

The BBC however is funded by the British public. TVNZ is not.

Media commentator, Bill Ralston, agreed there would be “significant public interest” in the information, but said  he would be against forcing media organisations to produce it.

Ralston said the BBC differed from TVNZ because it was advertising-free and was funded by UK taxpayers through a household licence fee – an important distinction.

“TVNZ would have some justification, I think, in demanding their presenters’ salaries were kept quiet, particularly if a presenter of a programme could hold or lose audience.

“If they build audience, they may be bringing in several millions of dollars worth of extra revenue, so they usually leverage that to get quite higher salaries.”

In a statement, TVNZ said it discloses the number of employees who earn over $100,000, broken down into $10,000 brackets, but it “didn’t have any plans to identify the remuneration of presenters or other individual employees.”

Ralston thought a case could be made for RNZ to produce its individual salary figures, because it was fully funded by the taxpayer.

I think you can make a case for Radio NZ to reveal details, as they are funded by taxpayers. Same goes for Maori TV.

Also you could make a case for NZ on Air to require details of salaries to be provided for any show they fund.

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