OPINION: In other circumstances, I could probably find something to laugh about in revelations that the journalist who broke a story about illegal spying was snooped on by Parliament’s bureaucrats.
MEDIA outlets have hailed the decision they will not be governed by a single standards authority in spite of a recommendation by the Law Commission, but the Government says the decision could be revisited.
The Law Commission had recommended scrapping the separate bodies that govern broadcast and print media and creating an umbrella organisation that would also cover online media.
Green Party Press Release:
Breaches of press freedom were inevitable when the Prime Minister set up an inquiry to investigate a leak to a journalist with no boundaries set on what information could be obtained, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.
New Zealand has increased its international ranking for media freedom, a result that School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing lecturer Dr Cathy Strong describes as “good news” though she still urges vigilance.
The annual ranking by international journalists organisation Reporters Without Borders showed New Zealand improved its listing five places from 13th to eighth highest of countries with governments allowing media to work independently.
The fundamental role of the news media is simply to report fair and balanced information to citizens. In doing so the news media acts as a ‘watchdog’ or power check, protecting the rights and interests of citizens. While factors such as entertainment undeniably hold some importance to the news media, it is the watchdog function of the news media that is fundamental to the workings of a democracy.