To help adapt to a changing media landscape, the New Zealand government announced on Mar. 10 plans to create a new public service media entity.
The new entity would combine the currently independent Radio New Zealand and Television New Zealand into a single organization that future-proofs New Zealand’s public media, said Minister for Broadcasting and Media Kris Faafoi in a speech announcing the plan.
In 2020, Faafoi and the New Zealand government began considering the question of how to ensure public media “was strong, sustainable and structured in a way to move with audience, technology and market trends,” he said.
At that time, television and radio had the first- and second-highest daily audiences in the country, but two years later television is second-highest behind video on demand and radio is fourth-highest behind subscription video services.
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“RNZ and TVNZ are each trying to adjust to the challenges, but our current public media system, and the legislation it’s based on, does limit their focus to radio and television,” said Faafoi.
“The establishment of the new entity will allow better use of a range of platforms, including current radio and linear TV and those of third parties, to reach audiences when, where and how audiences choose.”
The new entity, which is expected to be operational by July 2023 will be an Autonomous Crown Entity with editorial and operational independence under a public media charter.
Faafoi stressed that current non-commercial RNZ and TVNZ programming would continue, including the Radio NZ National and Concert FM services. He also said the new entity would continue to meet treaty obligations to provide Māori voices and perspectives.
A board is being established to begin the process of defining the scope and structure of the new entity, and Faafoi said that as part of that process the government would seek public feedback, including on the new charter.
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