Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Bob Jones: Television New Zealad

The costly furore over amalgamating TVNZ and Radio NZ is specially amusing for me.

That’s because over 3 decades ago they were one entity, Broadcasting NZ and I was one of the government appointed small committee formed to consider their splitting into separate entities.

We were assailed by an English, allegedly specialist consultancy on this issue, brought out to persuade us to split. For the life of me I couldn’t see any merit in this, moreso as the guts of their argument from memory, seemed to be in that era of radical change, every other country was doing this. However, I was a sole objector and my committee colleagues ran with the consultants.

But here’s another perspective on the matter. The underlying proposition in that revolutionary era was that governments should not do what the private sector can. So the hotels, travel agencies, insurance companies, shipping, airlines, banks and so on were all rightly sold off. Why then was radio and television retained?

I suspect as with most western nations the sentiment was that a non-commercial radio network delivering a straight unbiased news service etc was a necessity. But television? Study TVNZ’s daily fare. It’s simply low level entertainment rather than supposedly uplifting material.

I suppose the argument for its retention is not everyone can afford Sky for example, offering a rich variety of major news channels. But surely most folk could manage its circa $25 weekly cost.

There’s no longer any supportable argument for the state running a television channel and it should be sold while it still has some value.

Sir Bob Jones is a renowned author, columnist , property investor, and former politician, who blogs at No Punches Pulled HERE.


Anonymous said...

The sentiment might have been to have a straight, unbiased news service but that's not what we have today.
I think we need nationalised radio or we would be misinformed by a cacaphony of information of all and nefarious sorts, similar to social media. But ensure that political control is not included in the deal.

Robert Arthur said...

For all its blatant left and pro maori bias and many other faults RNZ is the best available and must be retained. Its contribution to preservation of mental health must cover much of its operating cost (or did before the pro maori obsession, which has the counter effect). Hopefully now motor mouth Willie has dismissed the amalgamation (forever!) RNZ will stop dumbing down the music as it has been doing to shake off listeners and improve the case for amalgamation. And in an RNZ interview Willie observed that few of his associates listend to RNZ. So the maori content should be left to the dedicated stations to which they presumably do listen. (and hopefully do in view of the vast drain on taxpayers)