Actually campaigning to influence policy is a good thing

Newsroom reports:

staff have been told by their CEO that television is an “uneven playing field” and that the company’s position is challenged by TVNZ’s position in the market.

CEO Michael Anderson told staff in an email leaked to Newsroom that “now is the time to get this message out”.

Anderson’s email was sent to MediaWorks staff after a Stuff.co.nz story published remarks Anderson made to a ministerial advisory group on public media.

He told the advisory group “there is a genuine risk that the Government, through its owned media channels, may become the only broadcaster in New Zealand”.

In his email, Anderson reassured staff that the company was not about to pull out of television broadcasting, but said that now was “the time to get the message out” and implied they might want to raise the role of TVNZ in the market when discussing their company’s position with other people.

“This will no doubt be something you are asked about externally whether that be by clients, suppliers or even friends,” he wrote.

“And the truth is that we are going to continue to fight for our future and for a level playing field, which we think is in the best interests of advertisers, agencies and the viewing public.”

Seems unremarkable. A company sharing its view of whether Government policy is good for the company, and encouraging staff to know that when talking with clients, suppliers or even friends.

Curran said the email was evidence of a campaign to influence and change Government policy.

“I am concerned that MediaWorks appears to be running a campaign to influence the Government,” Curran said.

Wow this comes across as so intolerant. Why is a campaign to influence the Government a bad thing that should cause concern? Thousands of organisations every day are campaigning to influence the Government.

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