Greens propose Public Interest Journalism Fund

The Green Party has today announced that, in government, it will establish a contestable Public Interest Journalism Fund and restore Radio New Zealand’s (RNZ) frozen funding to inflation-adjusted 2008 levels.

The $3 million annual fund will be available through Creative New Zealand to fund one-off journalism projects and ongoing salaries of specialist journalists. All funded content must be publicly available free of charge. Restoring RNZ funding to inflation adjusted levels will cost an additional $3.2 million a year.

“There’s a lot of great journalism in New Zealand but the pressures of financial and technological disruption are taking their toll. Now’s the time for the government to show commitment to a strong fourth estate,” said Green Party broadcasting spokesperson Gareth Hughes.

“Reading, hearing, and watching stories about New Zealanders, by New Zealanders, for New Zealanders is critical for our democracy and helps strengthen our national identity.

“Government can play a role in making sure those stories are being told and those voices are being heard.

“New Zealand has the second lowest per-capita spend on public broadcasting in the OECD and RNZ’s funding freeze has made things worse. The Green Party will restore RNZ’s funding to what is was before National cut it.

“The Green Party in government will help ensure New Zealand has a diverse range of freely available media content, including some that purely commercial funding models won’t deliver.

“All New Zealanders benefit when our media is diverse, well-funded and resourced,” Mr Hughes said.

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