Current affairs going online

Mediawatch on Radio New Zealand on Sunday looked at Current affairs drifts online – will funding follow? (includes audio link of the programme)

Current affairs programmes that once aired on national networks are now reappearing online. Is this a trend that could loosen the broadcasters’ hold on the bulk of public funding?

Two weeks ago, broadcaster Willie Jackson and left-leaning blogger Martyn Bradbury launched a daily discussion show called Waatea 5th Estate. It screens on on Auckland’s local channel Face TV, which is available nationally on Sky TV. The show is streamed live on YouTube, and on the websites of Willie Jackson’s Waatea News and Martyn Bradbury’s The Daily Blog.

It’s a multimedia counterpoint to, in Bradbury’s words, “dumbed down tabloid trash served up as current affairs on other channels at 7pm”. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it does show what can be done on TV and online these days with a small budget.

On an episode last Monday about broadcasting, AUT media lecturer Dr Wayne Hope said government broadcasting funding agency New Zealand on Air “should broaden its remit to fund more programmes like this one”.

It’s not clear how Fifth Estate is funded.

NZ on Air already fund some online content:

Last year NZME – owner of the New Zealand Herald and Newstalk ZB – launched an online video channel called Watch Me.

Two video series on it were funded by NZOA to the tune of $100,000 each. One is a video version of satirical political website The Civilian, and a recent online episode tore into contemporary television news.

If public money is available to satirise TV journalism online, there seems no reason not to use it to put journalism which TV broadcasters have abandoned – such as 3D – online as well.

It will be interesting to see whether public funding of current affairs moves online.

 

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10 Comments

  1. Pete Kane

     /  8th March 2016

    Waatea will certainly be part of the current ‘Government’ funding process. And knowing some of those involved, I’m guessing in multiple ways (and to multiple ;players’).

    Reply
    • Mefrostate

       /  8th March 2016

      Can you elaborate on this? It’s so vague that it reads as almost slanderous without detail.

      Reply
  2. Pete Kane

     /  8th March 2016

    “Radio Waatea – Urban Maori Radio in Tamaki Makaurau
    Radio Waatea is Aucklands’ only Māori radio station that provides an extensive bi-lingual broadcast to its listeners. Based at Nga Whare Waatea marae in Mangere, it is located in the middle of the biggest Maori population in Aotearoa
    Background
    UMA Broadcasting Ltd was established in 1999 by the Urban Māori Authorities, namely the Manukau Urban Māori Authority and Te Whanau a Waipareira Charitable Trust, as an entity to seek, foster and develop opportunities for urban Mâori in broadcasting.
    Since its inception UMA Broadcasting has set up the Māori radio station in Tamaki Makaurau Te Reo Irirangi o Waatea (Waatea 603am) and is a key stakeholder with the 96.6 FM frequency which George FM broadcast off in Tamaki.

    Essentially both stations were set up as vehicles to deliver the UMA Broadcasting vision.”

    Annual reports of the organisations together with other agencies indicate a number of funding sources, directly and in directly.

    Careful with the slander comment.
    http://www.waateanews.com/About+Us.html

    Reply
    • Mefrostate

       /  8th March 2016

      I see. But surely they will compete for public funds just as any other broadcaster would have to? Your comment seemed to allege some corruption in the distribution of these funds, which I can’t see any evidence of.

      Reply
  3. Pete Kane

     /  8th March 2016

    What corruption? Simply that an organisation with prominent and connected leadership is well placed to take advantage of the many direct and indirect forms of funding available. The origins of most funding will go back to the consolidated fund – as does most Govt. funding not derived from commercial (including fees) sources.

    Reply
    • Mefrostate

       /  8th March 2016

      Right, and are you alleging that those connections are improper?

      Reply
      • Pete Kane

         /  8th March 2016

        I’m stating the connections are helpful and advantageous. Who would disagree with that.

        Reply
        • Mefrostate

           /  8th March 2016

          Well sure. Same helpful and advantageous connections probably exist in all of the big media companies.

          Reply
          • Pete Kane

             /  8th March 2016

            Absolutely. It would be absurd to suggest Mike Hosking and Paul Henry, for example, haven’t benefited from their wide and influential contacts.

            Reply

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