BY BEN VIDGEN
“1973 many New Zealanders watched with concern as Chile new dictatorship imposed widespread social and economic changes all opposition was crushed as state owned enterprises where sold off multinational took over most of the countries natural resources work fare and education spending was cut hospitals privatised, ten years later no armed force was needed when a democratically elected government undertook similar program of changes in New Zealand” — Someone Else’s Country looks critically at the radical economic changes implemented by the 1984 Labour Government and continued on under ‘Ruthonomics’ administration of National – where privatisation of state assets and public media was as it had being in Chile part of a wider agenda that sought to remake New Zealand as a model free market economics. Made by Alister Barry in 1996 when the effects were raw, the film draws extensively on archive footage and interviews with key “witnesses to history”. It doubtful such a in-depth important documentary would be aired on NZ Television to day”.
A semi brief history of how our media got dumbed down and became a tool for commerce as opposing to being a genuine voice for people power.
April 2021: The government has just appointed eight people to oversee a business case for a new public media entity to replace state owned TVNZ and RNZ. The Minister of Broadcasting and Media Kris Faafoi says he plans to present the business case – due to be completed by mid-year – to Cabinet for approval by the end of the year. It would include review of RNZ’s Charter – which was due to begin next week – and RNZ’s plans for a new youth service, the subject of major controversy in 2020 when plans to reallocate RNZ Concert’s FM frequency and cut back the network were announced and then scrapped in the face of public protest.
2021: Around 450 journalists have lost their jobs since late March the pressure to be careful on what you report has never being this high before in such a job competitive market.
2021: Google is gearing up to launch a news curation service in New Zealand where publications, such as the NZ Herald, will be paid to provide stories. Details, such as how much Google will be paying news sites to use their stories, are still being kept under wraps by the tech giant.
2021: Google’s announcement follows Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi telling MPs last week that he had met Google to encourage them to have commercial discussions with traditional media. The biggest winner of this arrangement will be the anti social media Rupert Murdoch as the largest share owner of media interest in Australasia.
2021: According to the Guardian, Nine Entertainment – which owns the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age and the Australian Financial Review – signed a A$30 million deal with Google for its news to be used on the service.
2021 Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp says a landmark three-year agreement with Facebook to pay for its Australian content has being signed. Facebook also reportedly made a confidential deal with Nine Entertainment, Australia’s biggest locally-owned media giant. The Sydney Morning Herald and the Age reported its publisher, Nine, had signed a letter of intent to pay for content after weeks of tense negotiations. The company won’t confirm until a long-form agreement with Facebook is reached and the stock exchange is informed, a spokeswoman said.
2021: NZME Company chair Peter Cullinane resigned abruptly before the meeting after it was it was made clear big shareholders had lost confidence in him following the failed merger of Herald, Stuff and Fair Fax.
2020: Up to 90 jobs are to be cut at TVNZ in a bid to protect its financial sustainability, chief executive Kevin Kenrick says.
2020: Parliamentary select committee shuts down livestream feed after a parliamentary submitter who sold ammunition to the terrorist Brenton Tarrant points out the Christ Church shooter was not vetted properly by the police. The Royal Inquiry into the shooting, widely criticised for being held behind closed doors (something the families did not want) concurs with that verdict.
2020: Legislation introduced to New Zealand’s parliament expand the power of state agencies to censor and remove online content deemed “objectionable.” This provide legislative means for what firms like Kordia and other telecommunication firms friendly with intelligence services are already doing as requested.
2020: Youtube remove a documentary on US firm Shadow net which shows it was not just Trump that was using the kind of services that firms like Cambridge Analytics offered to create information dominance on social media platforms. The documentary demonstrated how all the internet feeds that are controlled by FISA procedures have been passed to private corporations that store the data overseas thereby circumventing US laws. “This gives them unsupervised/unrestricted access to everyone’s internet activities and emails. It means they see and store everything without FISA warrants”. Effectively the social media online platforms have agreed to Public Private Partnership with state security apparatus. It suspected government agency like the GCSB and Australian Signals Directorate have a similar relationship with firms like Kordia (also based in Australia as well as NZ). Feeds from those deemed people of interest get fed out to Australia by their corporate partners rerouted back (after the Aussie spooks do their thing) so the NZ government can claim its not censoring or spying on (that well be done by the Aussie spooks) its citizens and it can be technically correct. We probably do the same thing for the Aussies in reverse.
2020: Christchurch Call is signed by 17 nations including countries with questionable censorship and human rights abuse records including France, Ghana, Kenya, Columbia, Indonesia, Malta (where journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in 2017was murdered for exposing politicians being bribed in the global money laundering document the Panama Papers) and the Maldives. Its not officially backed by the US government, it was however signed by Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft—giant corporations who work closely with governments on surveillance and censorship, in particular promoting Neoliberalism, so called progressive politics and censoring not just conservative right wing views but left wing anti-war content as well.
2019: Free Julian Assange! Protest in Wellington in October 11 marks six months since Assange was illegally seized from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. He has since been held in the maximum security Belmarsh Prison, where he is now awaiting rendition to the United States. The protest points out what most journalist employed by corporate news have failed to say reflecting a silence on the issue by consecutive governments.
“Assange is in prison because his organisation, WikiLeaks, published evidence of US war crimes committed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and details about US spying, bullying and other gangster-like behaviour throughout the world. If the Trump administration, supported by the Democrats, gets their hands on Assange, he will be jailed for life and potentially tortured for the “crime” of journalism… Chelsea Manning, who leaked the evidence to WikiLeaks in 2010, has been imprisoned for more than six months in the US for refusing to give false evidence against Assange. The New Zealand Labour-led government has maintained a shameful silence on Assange and Manning because of NZ’s alliance with the US war machine. This protest is part of the worldwide campaign demanding freedom for Assange and Manning, and an end to censorship and the persecution of whistle-blowers, journalists and anti-war activists”.
In contrast New Zealand media organisations take the highly unusual step of striking an agreement to limit their reporting of the upcoming trial of the Australian man accused of killing 50 Muslim worshippers at two Christchurch Mosques. The nation’s five largest media outlets, including Radio New Zealand and TV-NZ, say they’ll follow a strict set of protocols designed to limit the public’s exposure to the accused killer’s ideals and beliefs. In theory this seems reasonable enough but it is in reality yet another example of courts over extending their authority regarding states control of the 4th Estate. It became clear early on from this authors own experience of the courts handling of media the Court was selective over who extended access and who it attempted to block. Withstanding the agreement was un required in the context that all journalist who attend trial already have to belong to an organisation with a code of ethics which cover responsible reporting the issues listed in the protocol.
2019: The Ardern government in 2019 gave an extra $17 million to the Chief Censor and the Censorship Compliance Unit, essentially doubling their funding and allowing the unit to expand its staff from 13 to approximately 30 people.
2019: Following the Christchurch shooting by a gunman with apparent connection to the US backed and financed anti Soviet Agov Neo Nazi mercenaries a Internet censorship Bill is proposed (passed 2020) that would also enable the government to proceed with “the establishment of a government-backed… web filter if one is desired in the future.” The draft legislation acknowledges that such filters, which would prevent access to blacklisted websites, could “impact on freedom of expression.” New Zealand’s two biggest internet service providers, key clients of Kordia, Spark and Vodafone, told Newsroom they support such a filter, along with the other measures in the legislation. As well as pushing online censorship, the Ardern government exploited a genuine tragedy as a pretext to further militarise the police and give more money to the spy agencies, which for years turned a blind eye to threats of white supremacist violence” (a media training symposium held for politicians and media two weeks prior to the attack ‘Crisis X’ regarding a terror event tied to online technology would coo that “opportunity can be seized from crisis” if politician learn to “present a sincere face”. Reporters embedded with the Police such as Sam Sherwood of Stuff would also assure criticism of the police was light and prove unwilling to look for white supremist connections in well to do communities or examine the head of the Christchurch Foundations own links to white supremacist based mercenary groups in the 1980s when Humphrey Rolleston was also CEO of the Christchurch Press.
None of the police embedder journalists have ever explored the precise nature of the March 19th 2019 multiple terrorism operations occurring the same day in Christchurch. All of which happened to be unfolding in the city at the same time that can be linked to Kordia including the premise of Psychiatric hospital Princess Margaret hospital and Antonio house (located next to a Kordia operated facility on Riccarton Rd approximately two minutes from the Al Noor Mosque site built and funded by the government of Saudi Arabia) where two spontaneous fire broke out later both set by youth allegedly in care for mental health issues. Or the repeated proximity of Kordia facilities in relation to alleged bomb terror and mass shooting threats in Wellington (which never eventuated by helped maintain a post 9/11 climate of fear) in 2001, Dunedin in 2015, Auckland 2019, Dunedin 2019.
None have ever questioned the speed at which the USA FBI was able to send agent to assist with the investigation on the same day of the attack.
Kordia Group’s chief information security officer (CISO) is Hillary Walton was educated at the University of Canterbury, holds a Master of Science in Psychology and Massey University, where she gained a diploma in Aviation Management. In 2012 Walton worked with the Olympic Delivery Authority in London, and Mendas Ltd, where she was seconded to the British intelligence agency, MI5, as part of a “strategic partnership” to manage a “security project”. Mendas is in the business of figuring out how to push people’s buttons, so they act in a desired manner that benefits the contractors clients agenda. Mendas is in the business of social engineering and conditioning.
Kordia’s IT subsidiary security services Aura InfoSec, chief consultant is cyber security and information warfare expert Paul W Poteete. Poteete began his career in the US Department of Defense. He holds a master of science in information systems from the United States Naval Postgraduate School, and holds several undergraduate degrees ranging from the arts and foreign languages to information technology or cyber based social engineering related topics. Kordia’s entry into security intelligence work (some would say their return) marks the rise of Public Private Partnerships within the state security apparatus.
Kordia sure does employ a lot of spooks for a little old telecommunication firm.
2020: Better Media Public Trust (whose web page helped in this project greatly) sum up Māori Television succinctly “The Maori Television Service has a long and complex history involving a long-running legal wrangle between the Waitangi Tribunal and the government ending in a Privy Council ruling which confirmed that the government had a legal obligation to protect Te Reo Māori as a taonga through the provision of broadcast services”. In many ways that verdict is highly justified, Māori TV’s main function is more specialised than the TVNZ Charter or TVNZ 7. Particularly after the 2013 Amendment Act, which removed the obligation to maintain broad audience appeal, the primary function of MTS is to support the revitalisation of Te Reo within Māoridom.
Miracles of miracles MTS practiced what’s it preaches MTS Te Reo Maori programming is truly diverse represent varying iwi and hapu concerns across age and demographics.
However since the introduction of the Te Matawai governance structure (replacing the Maori Electoral College and making MTS more directly accountable to an corporate Iwi-appointed board) the role of MTS seems likely to be at risk in the context of its Te Reo Māori broadcasting framework being diverted as indoctrination tool of neoliberalism and corporate iwi goals and not as educator of Te Reo Maori and protector of local hapu concerns.
The fear is like Kordia can become a tool of social engineering and used to promote neoliberal economics that will be camouflaged in Te Reo so greed can be hidden behind a moko an economic abuse presented as a “societal needs” desired by so called indigenous groups in bed with resource sucking multinationals.
Case in point Labour minister of Local Affairs, Tainui affiliated Narbia Mahuta role in side lining Ihumatoa activist in negotiation between Tainui and Fletchers.
MTS is a vital part of not just the NZ public media system but the checks and balance which insure iwi listen to the hapu and not just its chiefs.
Its essential to preventing high ranking iwi from being used as a mean of legitimising the backdoor privatisation of iwi and New Zealand resources like water and is one of the means by which Iwi board can be held accountable to their hapu. It is essential this borad casting service does not simply become another marketing tool used to sell the idea of ‘Iwinomics’ which is simply Rogernomics wearing a tiki.
Despite Better Media Public Trust warning why Maori TV must remain focused on Maori concerns (and not be hijacked by those with an agenda which is not related to Maoridom in its final outcome) Māori Television and Pasifika TV, a 24/7 channel service of Pacific Cooperation Broadcasting Limited (PCBL), announced the launch of a new Pacific Contribution Hub (PacHub) to be housed at Māori Television’s East Tāmaki Studio.
January 2020: Pasifika TV and Māori Television embarked on a collaborative partnership to build the new PacHub service.
This new service provides the facility to receive content from Pacific broadcasters, which can then be shared out across the Pacific nations. This new two-way contribution between New Zealand and the Pacific “enables the opportunity to build stronger ties through the sharing of Pasifika and Māori stories” and ideas. PacHub including PCBL’s Pasifika TV service and regional infrastructure upgrade to support a network of pro American, pro Pacfic Reset (pro Murdoch) Pacific broadcasters. In September 2019, PCBL relaunched Pasifika TV as a 24/7 channel service and upgraded satellite receivers at 24 broadcasters across 14 Pacific countries enabling the transition from a Standard Definition (SD) to a High Definition (HD) feed ensuring the channel’s streaming capabilities are future-proofed for a digital age.
2020: Nearly 600,000 books are target for culling from the National Archives which follows suit of the destruction of 10,000 books from Auckland University in 2018 and like the National Archives was done under the pretext of making way for Maori and Pasifika stories (even though books on indigenous culture are among those removed in recent culls). It comes as Microsoft establish data archives centres in Australia and New Zealand and begin hawking their ware along with questionable software and copy right issues. Public knowledge is slowly being monetarised and enslaved by information brokers and emerging world IT data banking.
2020: NZME and Nine in Australia agree to an exclusive negotiation period on 23 April to acquire Stuff for $1 the merger fails to take place. In a post covid world where media earning having taken a colossal hammering Stuff $55 million capital assets which once commanded an offer of 100 million are struggling even with a give away offer that indicates further cuts are on the way. NZME – now owns the New Zealand Herald, numerous North Island newspapers and half of New Zealand’s radio stations.
2020: Labour pre election unveiling a $50m (drawn from borrowed funds) targeted assistance package said to be for media outlets suffering impact of Covid 19. Broadcasting and Digital Media Minister Kris Faafoi said there was “a natural level of function of journalism the Government wants to see. Media plurality, the function of journalism and preserving as many jobs as possible are the priorities”. News publishers and independent media however don’t benefit much from the package, with the funding going to NZME’s radio business and telecommunication companies who will benefit from the cuts to transmission costs they have to pay Kordia.
2019: Sky’s (Rupert Murdoch) lobbyist Tony O’Brien is hired by MediaWorks to drum up support for the idea of RNZ merging with TVNZ to form an organisation owned by the government but based on being commercially profitable.
Its a move which would wipe any remnants of a non corporate dominated media landscape.
TVNZ current CEO Labour’s Kris Faafoi, a former TVNZ journalist supports the idea of the merger and enhanced media monopolisation. “One thing is true, wherever I look there is consolidation. Comcast (US pay-TV giant) and SKY TV in Britain. ABC Disney and Fox in the US and we are seeing change in Australia where Nine is merging with Fairfax. New Zealand can’t be a standalone player defying gravity. New Zealand has got to get real…. Now O’Brien is doubling down and trying to convince the Government that they should get rid of MediaWorks’ its major competitor. If he pulls that off they should give him a knighthood.”
The merger proposal comes as Sky’s Channel 7 looks likely to buy Mediaworks of US energy investment Oak Tree. It comes as New Zealand funds TV channel to the Pacific begins broadcasting to 13 Pacific countries.
The New Zealand Government has provided the equipment, training and funding for the 24-hour-a-day feed – and it’s all content given at no cost by TVNZ, Mediaworks, Māori TV and Sky TV. It will promote not just the big issue such as Climate Change (as interpreted by Murdoch, the Big Pharma response to Pan epidemics, Youth views, Pasifika culture (as interpreted by Murdoch) as well as sports.
The new channel will include the new pacific based Rugby franchise Pacifica Moana the product of Michael Fays idea to promote the UNDP (United Nation Development board then head by Privy Councillor Hellen Clark) SAMOA by creating Pacific based sports franchises who will be sponsored by the tech frim and investors involved in industries such as deep sea bed mining, making the Pacific a source of cheap migrant work for IT production in regions. Specifically the UAE & Saudi Arabia where the UNDP backed Vision 2030 emerged following the death of dissident journalist Jamal Kashoggi in 2018 not as blue print for exiting oil by sustainability, combating climate change, democratisation, modernisation and progressive reforms and instead was revealed as a vision of the patriarchal misogynistic sadistic murders who rule Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Despot who see in Vision 2030 a means of turning the Arab world into the leading producer of smart weapons and biodefence technology.
The new channel will be overseen by the Pacific Cooperation Broadcasting Limited (PCBL) the brain child of Sky’s Tony O’brien and Brent Impey and marks another New Zealand government initiative, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and the privately funded Pacific Cooperation Foundation (PCF) “with the overall aim to build stronger relationships in the Pacific region by supporting the media sector. ”
As we can see the media sector these day is monopoly so what they really mean is to support Rupert Murdoch ambitions. Ambitions which no doubt in turn will support the US driven Pacific Reset as his son help sell a corporate deep sea mining friendly version of combating climate change which Murdoch himself bags. Begging the question is this why there three vessels belonging to Murdoch at the viaduct during the last America’s cup race parked next to energy magnate Wayne Laufer (and whose boat Gayle Force had just surveyed Antarctica). Laufer is the go between for not just the Trump election campaign fund raiser backed Patriot Fund but the oil magnate the Koch brothers who when they are not donating to Trump can be found in bed with George Soros the public rival of Trump (who however also financed the Trump Towers in the time when Trump was good and close friends with the Clintons to whom Murdoch has also donated generously and maintains good relations being in line with the Clinton and Barack neoliberal economic policies.
November 2019: NZME confirmed it has entered into negotiations with Stuff’s new Australian owners, Nine Entertainment, to purchase Stuff for $1. As part of the second merger proposal, NZME proposed a “Kiwishare” arrangement that would ringfence Stuff’s editorial operations and protect local journalism”.
2019: Kris Faafoi raises the prospect of a new state-owned public media entity under the election campaign associated banner Strengthening Public Media. A leak inside the government to RNZ in January 2020 reveal the government has settled on the option of state owned TV run with commercial goal to replace state-owned RNZ and TVNZ within three years after consultation with Price Water House Cooper who have had been employed for the task of writing a business model under the guidance of the Ministry of Culture and Heritage. Labour with the wisdom of PWH plan to repeat the disaster of attempting to operate a non funded state broadcasting service in a low population environment clogged with competition.
2018: Australia ranks as the 10th most concentrated content media industry by this measure. For news it ranked as the 11th most concentrated. Those above it related to state owned media in nations such as China or Egypt. Australia also had the most concentrated newspaper industry out of any country studied, again with the exception of China and Egypt: This concentration is largely due to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, which, at the time, controlled 57% of the newspaper market by circulation. This analysis shows the Fairfax takeover will significantly increase the concentration of the online news market, with the C4 value going from 68% to 73.4% – an 8% increase, and an indication of a fairly concentrated market. The HHI would increase from 1,619 to 1,961 post-takeover.
In Britain, Rupert Murdoch is best known for owning prolific tabloid papers such as the News of the World and The Sun. The infamous News of the World phone-hacking scandal led to the paper being closed down in 2011. . After his initial acquisitions, Murdoch began expanding his media empire within the U.K, buying both the Times and The Sunday Times. Significantly, 21st Century Fox owned the majority shares in Sky News UK, and in 2018 Murdoch sold the company to US media conglomerate Comcast. Another perhaps less-known acquisition of Murdoch’s is the Wireless group, which owns a number of Radio stations. Stations such as the sports channel Talk SPORT were placed under new ownership in 2016.
Murdoch moved to New York City in the 1970’s, and began acquiring American media assets to add to his empire. He bought the New York Post and New York Magazine in the 1980’s – he still owns the New York Post. Famously, he bought a controlling stake in 20th Century Fox in 1985, and changed the landscape of television. That same year he renounced his Australian citizenship to satisfy American regulations to become a full owner of American television stations. In 1996, alongside Roger Ailes, Murdoch launched Fox News, a 24-hour news channel which today
is both a major and influential news outlet in America. A significant acquisition made by Murdoch was his purchase of America’s seminal financial paper, The Wall Street Journal. Once again, through News Corp, Murdoch bought the paper in 2007 for 5 billion dollars. The paper had previously been in the hands of the Bancroft family for over 100 years. He also brought National Geographic while purchases including Pacific Island Monthly which reported on corruption in the Pacific island states and the anti capitalist comic ‘Crisis’ where soon shut down.
Rupert Murdoch’s father owned the Adelaide News, a regional newspaper that Rupert Murdoch inherited when he was 22. As time went on, Murdoch began to acquire more and more newspapers across Australia and eventually controlled a staggering two thirds of the Australian media market.
In 1964, he founded the countries first national newspaper The Australian. Murdoch owns many of Australia’s widely read magazines such as GQ Australia, as well as Sky News Australia, which News Corp Australia bought in 2016. News Corp Australia itself owns around 140 plus Australian newspapers both regional and national, and is the country’s largest media conglomerate. Murdoch has retained his ownership of many of Australia’s regional newspapers. Moreover, perhaps surprisingly, Murdoch, through the conglomerate News Corp, has also bought many of Australia’s suburban community papers ( a pattern repeated here in NZ by Fair Fax). These papers are centralised under a larger media affiliation which in turn is owned by Murdoch’s media giant News Corp. For example, Melbourne’s Leader Community Newspapers which is owned by News Corp, manages and publishes 33 suburban papers. Murdoch’s continued domination of both Australia’s regional and national newspapers is evident and undeniable.
Murdoch is part of a global media system now dominated by a first tier of nine giant firms. The five largest are Time Warner (1997 sales: $24 billion), Disney ($22 billion), Bertelsmann ($15 billion), Viacom ($13 billion), and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation ($11 billion). The rules of thumb for global media giants are twofold: First, get bigger so you dominate markets and your competition can’t buy you out. Firms like Disney and Time Warner have almost tripled in size this decade. Second tier Murdoch also heavily invested in and include film production, book publishing, music, TV channels and networks, retail stores, amusement parks, magazines, newspapers and the like.
2018 Fairfax Media in Australia has been acquired by Nine, a major media company with digital, radio and TV assets. Fairfax Media shareholders have approved a $4bn merger with Nine to create a multimedia company, ending the historic Fairfax brand which was founded when John Fairfax bought the Sydney Morning Herald in 1841. Fairfax investors voted 81.49% of shares cast in favour of the merger and 18.5% against.
October 2018: NZME and Stuff abandoned their first merger attempt. 2012 TVNZ 7 closes despite a Save TVNZ 7 campaign (from which BPM evolved) which had gathered 36,000 signatures and only needed an estimated $17m per year to be maintained. National decided it will not provide further funding.
2017: both Back Benches and Media Take had their funding discontinued by NZ On Air. They mark the last of original content developed by TVNZ 6 and 7 broadcast available on free-to-air television. And the end of non entertainment base news current affair’s on TVNZ with the exception of the news itself. TV Genres Now Extinct in NZ arts programmes science programmes programmes for people over 50 regional news and current affairs natural history kidult drama educational television well funded investigative news On the near extinction watchlist investigative journalism documentaries children’s television political debates quiz shows chat shows Stuff confirmed it had received an unsolicited offer of reportedly $100m to $120m. The offer is rejected as “lowball” at the time by NZME HQ’s in Sydney.
2017: An eight-year funding freeze on Radio New Zealand has come to an end with the Government announcing an annual boost of $2.84 million in Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barrie said the extra money would help Radio NZ invest in new technology and “improved capability”. Radio NZ’s funding through NZ On Air had been set at $32m since 2007.
2017: Facebook, the company Peter Thiel was a significant shareholder in, sits down with New Zealand politicians on May 1st to ensure a new authentication ‘fact’ system. It ultimately serves to ensure corporate controlled media has dominance of our information flow in the next election, aimed at shutting out alternative counter culture media, from social media as, as perceived dissident sites setting oddly fail to materialise the apps offered to more status quo source as a means of authenticating their existence as ‘real news’ site while Facebook itself will determine who get the prized blue tick indicating Facebook endorsed celebrities, media companies and corporate brands can apply to have a “blue tick” put beside their name, confirming them as an authentic account. Corporation will decide what is true and what is not.
2017: Corporate lobbyist including Sky’s Tony O’Brien found to have all access parliamentary entry swipe cards.
2016: Rupert Murdoch’s affiliated 9 buy out Fairfax Media further concentrates the Australian media monopoly, which, data shows, was already one of the more concentrated media industries in the world. A 2016, a landmark study on media ownership and concentration, Who Owns the World Media?, was published. The study was a collaboration between academics in 30 countries, and it collated and analysed data on the ownership and concentration of media in each nation. The results show that, in 2011, Australia’s content media industry was among the most concentrated in the world, and is steadily becoming more concentrated over time. The anticipated support of Rupert Murdoch for the US led Pacific Reset is expected to boost Murdoch’s goals of monopolisation of media and communication technology infrastructure in relation technology enable online content or transmission abilities.
2015;The Coalition for Better Broadcasting calls on the Minister of Broadcasting, Amy Adams to improve Radio New Zealand funding as a matter of urgency.
Radio New Zealand has announced that 20 staff will lose their jobs over the next six months. “Radio New Zealand is being slowly shutdown by this government with a harsh funding freeze that promises to bring our last public service broadcaster to its knees,” said CBB Chief Executive Myles Thomas.
Prior to the last Budget, RNZ made a strong case for improved investment from government to fund online expansion and maintain current services. This request was turned down flat. Similar countries enjoy multiple radio, video and online services, and New Zealanders expect the same from our government. “Sadly the Minister of Broadcasting has chosen to deny us any of the benefits of new technologies” noted RNZ Chief Executive Paul Thompson.
2015: Fans rush to John Campbell aid, “parking bums on seats and demonstrating their loyalty as the ratings saw for the 6pm VNZ news bulletin and Campbell Live show“.
But regardless Campbell is is axed by MediaWorks after Campbell investigation of the expansion of the US military and Five Eyes within NZ as memo leaked reveal Campbell is viewed as “too pink” by “friends of John Key, high up in the echelons of MediaWorks” and in the Corporate world. “The review was led by TV3’s current affairs boss, Mark Jennings. Senior management were unanimous in the decision to side-line Campbell. By opting for co-hosts – the search having already started for fresh presenters – it indicates the new format may try and give Seven Sharp (and its signature blathering, banter and editorialising by their boy-girl presenter line-up) a run for its money“.
These are the programming formats which along with Jacinda Adern famed hand use, media buzz phases (e.g weather bomb, team of five million), the fad of deaf interpreters, canned laughed, are psychological tools developed by media communication experts, social engineers and marketing developers, designed to lead the viewer to set conclusions or emotional response as opposed a to format of investigative work in which the presenter inform the viewer and then leaves then to do their own thinking independently. The sad end of John Campbell Jane Bowron 17:00, May 21 2015 Stuff
2015: Over lunch at Lambrettas multi award wining cartoonist Trace Hodgeson explains to this author why he has quit cartooning. Namely after related successful attempt at censorship of his satirical work by leading politicians including John Key and major corporations.
2014: Award wining cartoonist and even a occasional contributor to DEADLINE Malcolm Evans quits political cartooning after his work “could no longer be tolerated” following complaints his work was anti Semitic. Prior to that Evans’ cartoons appeared daily in three major New Zealand newspapers, The Manawatu Standard, The Timaru Herald and The Christchurch Press. Evans had focused on Israel, its government and citizens, and regularly published anti-Zionism and anti-Israel cartoons.
Wikapedia reports that some of these cartoons were also anti-Semitic and meet the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism. Not noted in the Wikipedia entry was that Evans was largely commenting on Israel’s treatment of Palestinians its excess use of force and the comparatively brutality of it military in the context of Israel’s own past as victim of state controlled fascism.
2015: Parliament ditches a controversial and unused provision against using television footage from the debating chamber for satire or to ridicule or denigrate them. The “anti satire” rule came about during the previous Labour government and was apparently aimed at “preventing people from using Parliament TV footage for you-tube videos mocking MPs and Parliament”. The rule had never been used and the Clerk of the House and Parliamentary Press Gallery said in submissions to the Privileges Committee that it made Parliament “seem out of touch and weary of criticism”. The Privileges Committee agreed though expressed reservations about people using Parliament TV footage to present a “false or misleading account of parliamentary proceedings”.
The committee’s report followed an inquiry into the use of social media as a growing number of MPs use twitter, live streaming and Facebook to communicate with voters.
2014: The High Court in Auckland has ruled that a book about Kim Dotcom written by New Zealand Herald journalism isn’t protected by the privacy act because it isn’t journalism. See also When is a journalist not a journalist? (Office of Privacy Protection). Then Chief High Court Judge, Justice Winkelmann concluded that in David Fisher’s capacity as an author of a book, he was not “news media” as the definition refers to “articles”, not “books”. The result seemed to be that Mr Fisher would not be subject to the Privacy Act for an article published in the New Zealand Herald a new corporation, but if a collection of such articles were published as a book, he would be.
2014: NZME is formed through the merger of the New Zealand division of APN News & Media and The Radio Network, part of the Australian Radio Network.
2011: Speaker Lockwood Smith backed down attempt to ban journalist from parliament and will now allow New Zealand Herald journalists to work in their offices in Parliament’s Press Gallery, although they have lost other privileges. The Speaker handed down the punishmnt after the Herald published a photograph on its website on Wednesday of guards and members of the public restraining a man who was trying to jump from the public gallery into the debating chamber. The ban was today criticised by the editor of a rival newspaper as curtailing press freedom. In his original letter to Editor Tim Murphy, Smith said they would no longer enjoy privileges including “office accommodation within the Parliamentary complex including workstation space and telephone and power connections”.
But in a later statement, Smith said the suspension of Herald journalists would not stop them from using their offices “provided access to them is properly facilitated”. It meant Herald staff would have to sign in as guests and go through Parliament’s usual security measures. The suspension would not prevent them from reporting, Smith said in a statement this afternoon. Dominion Post editor Bernadette Courtney said banning the journalists from Parliament was “outrageous”, and she would complain to the Speaker.
2010: The Law Commission at parliament behest recommended two things: a tribunal with the power to take grossly unfair material down from the net, and one single regulator to uphold standards for all media, even bloggers dealing in commentary and dissemination of news and current events.
The broadcasters clubbed together to create their own body to handle complaints about content on their own websites – the Online Media Standards Authority. The Harmful Digital Communications Bill only targeted cyber-bullying – and didn’t propose any change to media regulation at all. A submission on the bill by the Media Freedom Committee (PDF) argued news media should not be lumped in with the bloggers and ordinary citizens on social media under this new law.
They are already accountable to standards bodies like the BSA, OMSA and Press Council, they argueD. But politicians did not accept the Law Commission’s recommendation that the news media should be exempt, and the new law now has the potential to be used against those by those in power with an axe to grind.
The Act gives a web host or publisher two days to respond to a complaint from someone offended by comments about them – or images of them – published online. If the host gets no response from the author, it can simply take down the offending material – the so-called ‘safe harbour’ provision. If the offending material remains online, the offended party can also complain to an approved agency – yet to be appointed – which will try to mediate a settlement. But if the parties can’t agree, the web host and the author of the allegedly harmful comments may face criminal charges. A complainant will not be able to obtain any redress unless he or she can show that the offending digital communication has caused harm. But harm has also been given an alarmingly expansive definition by New Zealand legal statutes. It is defined as anything that causes a complainant “serious emotional distress”, a disconcertingly subjective notion. TV producer Tim Watkin said political leaders “who condemned the Charlie Hebdo atrocity as an assault on free speech had now backed a law which ‘may undermine journalists’ ability to critique, cartoonists’ ability to lampoon — and satirists’ ability to just take the mick’. If a current affairs investigation into a dodgy finance company offends that financier or his family… if a Fair Go report distresses some con man… or if a cartoon emotionally harms a pious soul, they now can use the law to ask for the offending item to be taken offline”.
2010: Radio NZ faces budget freeze it will last eight years.
2008: May 2008 Fairfax Media has a market capitalisation of over A$5 billion. 2008 National dismiss the Labour induced ‘Public’ charter as a failure, re-allocated the Charter funding to NZ On Air to create the Platinum Fund (formal legislation for this passes in 2011) funding for RNZ and NZ On Air is frozen.
2008: National insisted that in the “digital multi-media environment” funding public broadcasting institutions was no longer important and that it was more appropriate to fund content through contestable funds on a “platform-neutral basis”. TVNZ argue 6 and 7 are delivering high public value through programming partnerships with other public sector and non-governmental bodies (such as Auckland Zoo and Plunket) but are not yet in a position to fund themselves. The National government is unsympathetic. In response, TVNZ decided to close 6 (to be replaced by the short-lived Channel U), with some of 6’s content being folded into TVNZ 7.
2007: TVNZ 6 and TVNZ 7 begin as part of TVNZ’s initiative to help drive digital switch-over (which was completed in 2013). TVNZ is instructed to explore ways of making the new channels self-funding after initial funding period. TVNZ 6 & 7 original schedule “came the closest to fulfilling our public service television needs. By day parents could leave their kids to watch for a while knowing their kids wouldn’t come away with American accents and screaming for a happy combo meal. By night adults could watch informative, brain stimulating programmes that treated them with respect”.
2007: It official politicians have no sense of humour. Satire, ridicule and denigration of MPs using any television footage shot from parliamentary galleries is to be banned under rules proposed by the standing orders committee.
They also create anomalies between what television cameras can show and what newspapers photographers are allowed to show, giving television the advantage. The television cameras will be able to show wider shots than are allowed now, such as an MP’s response to an answer, but photographers won’t be. For example, if an MP asking a minister a question gave the fingers to the minister, the television cameras under the new rules could film it and broadcast it, but a newspaper photographer could not take it or run it in the paper. The newspaper would be allowed to take the shot from the television footage but not to produce its own. The proposed rule change has been condemned by the media freedom committee of the Commonwealth Press Union and the parliamentary press gallery, which was not given prior warning of the move to ban satire or ridicule in television footage. Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen accused media of trying to portray the restrictions as “some sort of fascist state where the heroic media of New Zealand are being denied the right to lampoon politicians”.
2006: The business (THL Group, BCL – formerly known as Broadcast Communications Limited, THLA, AAPCS) is rebranded to Kordia. The name “Kordia” is derived from the Latin word “accordia”, meaning “harmony”. The New Zealand business was formed as a subsidiary of Television New Zealand Ltd (TVNZ) on 1 July 1989 (as BCL) and was sold off as a separate entity in 2003. Kordia operates the digital television platforms in New Zealand – digital terrestrial television (DTT) and direct-to-home (DTH-satellite). Its subsidiary Aurora specialises in cyber security, social media filtering and employs digital social engineers and psychologist specialising in motivating people to an end goal who have previously employed by US and UK intelligence services such as NSA, DOD and M16.
Kordia is returning to it WWII roots as the propaganda arm of New Zealand Broad Casting Authority which Toby Trudell editor of the 1980’s zine Wellington Confidential had uncovered in his own on reporting on the dismantling of public media services.
Kordia who are key component of the 5G role out 2007 directorship list, as reflection of who it really answered too, include; John Quirk Kordia Group, Cumulo9, Farm Iq, Framecad, SMX & Werescape, advisor to Clearpoint Xcellerate. Previously chairman Axon. On board of Optima telecommunications. Sheridan Broadbent Chief Executive of lines company Counties Power, deputy chair of Kordia, a board member of Transpower, NZTA, Timberlands forrrestry. Chair of smart meter analytics company Ampli. Sir Paul Adams; Executive Chairman of Carrus New Zealand, chair of Contractors Federation NZ founded Priority One, Tauranga’s business development pro privatisastion lobbying agency Peter Ennis: former general manager of technology at TVNZ. Founded Avid Technology providing information technology for governments and US military. Sophie Haslem Investment banker 20 year executive career with Citibank NA, ANZ Investment, Gemini, Ernst & Young, and New Zealand Post Deputy Chair of the MetService, and a Director of Rangatira, CentrePort, Magritek and Rainbow’s End ( formerly Brierly Investments) trustee to Akino Foundation ( a social engineering think tank). David Havercroft director on the Kiwi Wealth board: Chairman of fibre and mobile infrastructure company Connect8 (water, power, telecommunications), director of Southern Cross Cables Network. Previous Chief Operating Officer and Chief Technology Officer of Spark New Zealand. Sue Occonor specialist field “technology & climate” Chair of Yarra Valley Water and a Director of Mercer Superannuation, Climate Works Australia. Graduated Monash University Harvard Business School. Tony O’Brien Sky television lobbyist for 22 years.
In 2012 O’Brien was identified as among 15 Corporate lobbyists who had been granted swipe cards that provided easier access to the parliamentary complex. O’Brien now sit on Antarctica New Zealand board of trustee New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute (strategic partners include Operation Deep Freeze United States Air Force) and his favourite restaurant was Ill Casino in Wellington (or at less that where he wined and dined MP’s and cabinet ministers specifically former member Minister for NZ Post who today is Privy Councillor advising parliament) on numerous occasions.
Kordia network is based primarily on digital microwave technology which rolled out in 2007 and in the process killed local TV broadcasting on VHF dead and thus another nail in local media was driven in o the coffin of independent media. In 2007, Kordia upgraded its high sites to build the digital terrestrial television (DTT) platform, which now hosts Free view (Free-to-air digital television in New Zealand), complete with cameras that literally can look into your living room should the powers that be choose to do so. And that sound like an Orwellian notion then just consider the sudden proliferation of Public Private Partnership the traditional bedrock of any good emerging fascist state, where the blurred line between big business and state business are the norm.
2003: Then a significant Facebook share holder and future New Zealand Resident in Queenstown (increasingly the home of Silicon Valley billionaires and Data spooks and where the 2002 and 2017 western spy chief met to discuss anti terrorism and new surveillance technology alliances) Peter Theil develops Palantir Technologies. It named after the seeing stones in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings.” Its two primary software programs, Gotham and Foundry, gather and process vast quantities of data in order to identify connections, patterns and trends that might elude human analysts. The stated goal of all this “data integration” is to help organizations make better decisions, and many of Palantir’s customers consider its technology to be transformative. Karp, Palantir’s co-founder, claims a loftier ambition, however. “We built our company to support the West,” he says. To that end, Palantir which has being used by governments including NZ to track Covid 19 says it does not do business in countries that it considers adversarial to the U.S. and its allies, namely China and Russia. In the company’s early days, Palantir employees, invoking Tolkien, described their mission as “saving the shire.”
Although Palantir claims it does not store or sell client data and has incorporated into its software what it insists are robust privacy controls, those who worry about the sanctity of personal information see Palantir as a particularly malignant avatar of the Big Data revolution. Karp himself doesn’t deny the risk. “Every technology is dangerous,” he says, “including ours.” The fact that the health records of millions of people are now being funnelled through Palantir’s software has only added to the unease. Palantir just like the fictional orbs can manipulate what viewers do and don’t get to see and is new tool in fight for ‘Information Dominance’ the term used to describe how information is controlled and disseminated.
2003: The Public Charter is formally implemented in 2003, changing TVNZ status from a purely commercial state-owned enterprise to a crown company with a dual remit- to maintain commercial performance while delivering the public charter. The mixed-funding public broadcast service is expected to pay commercial dividends but will not receive more than subsistent public public funding from the government. Conflicting agendas within a Labour Cabinet still heavily influenced by Rogernomic style economics saw TVNZ allocated less than $15m per year to run a nation wide television service from the Ministry for Culture and Heritage which is less than 5% of its operating budget.
Between 2003 and 2008, TVNZ received approximately $95m in funds for the charter but paid $142m in dividends. “Quite literally, the government was giving TVNZ money with one hand only to take it back with the other!” Late 1990’s: TVNZ is being set up for privatised the first of three Labour-led governments in 1999 saw reintroduction of a public service charter for TVNZ to try and ensure that state-owned television channels reflected the needs of the public as citizens, not just consumers. 1990’s: Commercial competition increased in the 1990s, with several new free-to-air channels starting up (with mixed success) and the steady growth of SkyTV’s satellite Pay-TV monopoly.
Better Media Public Trust reported “Local programmes remained government funded through NZ On Air, the range of content however decreased. 1990’s TV3 struggles to be commercially viable and desperately focuses on profits, and so did TVNZ as it was required to do so by the government, at the expense of quality or providing a public service for audiences. Cheaply produced genres like reality-TV dominated schedules while news and current affairs became markedly ‘softer’ and more entertainment-focused, in an effort to hold viewers’ attention and cut cost. Documentaries become less frequent as did ‘Kidult’ youth dramas, science programmes and anything that brought communities together, built nations, or made us proud to be Kiwis with the exception of sports which could be monetised and franchised. 1990: Foreign ownership laws are relaxed to allow the Canadian conglomerate, CanWest, to acquire TV3. This opened the door for future broadcast acquisitions by foreign media corporations, notably the purchase of Sky TV by Murdoch’s INL group”.
1990: Underfunded TV3 is in receivership after less than a year in operation.
1989: TVNZ is no longer the direct recipient of the licence fee and this would be split between the three channels.
1984: election heralds in the ‘Rogernomics’ programme under the fourth Labour government saw the start of the commercial era. A third private television channel was approved, which commenced as TV3 in 1989. In the same year, BCNZ is carved up.
Better Media Public Trust “TVNZ becomes a commercially-motivated state-owned enterprise, and a new Crown Entity, the Broadcasting Commission (NZ On Air), is established to distribute the licence fee to commercial entity on a contestable basis. TV One and TV2 are establish to complement each other, rather than attempting to chase the same audience demographics. The insulation from commercial pressures to optimise ratings and revenue in every slot in the schedule is a fundamental principle behind the BBC, ABC, CBC and most other public broadcasters around the world. However, one of the potential limitations of a publicly-funded state monopoly with no other competition is an institutionally conservative outlook without much incentive to innovate and respond to consumer demand. For many independent content producers, their relationship with TVNZ’s commissioners determined their survival. If TVNZ didn’t like your proposal, there were no other channels you could approach”.
1980s: Pressure from the IMF, World Bank and U.S. government to deregulate and privatize media and communication systems coincided with new satellite and digital technologies, resulting in the rise of transnational media giants.
1977: the Broadcasting Council, Radio NZ and the two television channels are reincorporated as BCNZ, with the latter forming TVNZ in 1980.
1975: the second television channel is launched, subsequently branded South Pacific TV. Although separate from TV One, competition for ratings and advertising was not yet at a level where public service principles would be sacrificed for profit. Public funding has given TV3 the autonomy to decide what programmes to commission and when to schedule them.
1973: “Many New Zealanders watched with concern as Chile new dictatorship imposed widespread social and economic changes all opposition was crushed as state owned enterprises where sold off multinational took over most of the countries natural resources work fare and education spending was cut hospitals privatised, ten years later no armed force was needed when a democratically elected government undertook similar program of changes in New Zealand” — Someone Else’s Country looks critically at the radical economic changes implemented by the 1984 Labour Government and continued on under Ruthonomic administration of National – where privatisation of state assets and public media was as it had being in Chile part of a wider agenda that sought to remake New Zealand as a model free market economics. Made by Alister Barry in 1996 when the effects were raw, the film draws extensively on archive footage and interviews with key “witnesses to history”. It doubtful such a in-depth important documentary would be aired on NZ Television to date.
1962:The NZBS (NZBC from 1962) was established as a state monopoly. Like the BBC, the general principles to inform, educate and entertain were apparent, and funding was through the licence fee.”
1960: Television begins transmission in New Zealand in 1960.
Advertising was present from the start. At first, television only transmitted four nights a week, and only two nights had advertising. Later, it rose to four days a week of advertising, with a maximum of six minutes of advertising an hour as the gold rush of media revenue gathering as opposed to quality content kicks in.