The editor of the Guardian says his newspaper has published just 1 percent of the material it received from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, and denied the paper had placed lives or national security at risk.
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.
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.