A Curia poll for the Taxpayers' Union has found 59% of NZers believe government funding of private media companies has undermined the independence of media with only 21% disagreeing.
The media will of course never report on this poll finding, but it should concern them. It doesn't matter whether or not the media have compromised their independence by taking the $55 million, because the vast majority of NZers believe they have been compromised. Taking the money has been the largest own goal for media.
Note that this was not a partisan issue. A plurality of labour and Green voters also agreed media independence has been compromised.
The $55 million PIJF (Public Interest Journalism Fund) is unpopular. Only 24% of New Zealanders support it. Time to scrap it.