The author of this column will probably be accused of bias because the media company he works for would likely benefit from the public interest media reforms he hints at:

As someone who has done unpaid public interest writing online for two decades, has never worked for commercial media, and probably never will, I agree with everything he says. The public already subsidizes the media in various ways, and we could get much better public interest bang for our bucks.

I've been saying for years that we could improve public interest media just by making it compulsory to release every piece of publicly-funded media under a license (ideally a one). That way a lot less public media funding would be siphoned off to subsidize the production of commercially motivated garbage like "reality TV" (corporate-sponsored infomercials masquerading as "local content").

My 2c proposal for fixing public interest broadcasting in is to sell off TV2, with just enough of 's assets to be functional as a commercial TV station, along with all the TVNZ staff who wouldn't cope with working for a proper public interest broadcaster. Then hand over TV1, along with the bulk of TVNZ's assets and any remaining TVNZ staff, to a new, fully-funded, ad-free public broadcaster.

I don't think RadioNZ ought to be handed that job, although the two public broadcasters would share resources/ content/ staff etc as appropriate, allowing the funding given to both to benefit both. For example, although I'd want to see each entity have its own tech teams and manage its own website(s) and digital distribution, obviously they would collaborate where it makes sense, and heavily cross-promote each other's content, as well as public interest content produced by other media entities.

A more radical proposal is that could be bought and integrated into the new public TV broadcaster. Combining the newsroom capacity of both TV1 and Stuff, and the funding being spent on revitalizing regional journalism, would allow both TV1 News and a website based on Stuff to produce extensive public interest news coverage. Obviously they would collaborate and share resources with the RadioNZ newsroom too.

But then the producers wouldn't be able to sell the content overseas!

[Tries to figure out who else would actually give a shit about that option. Fails.]

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