Broadcasting Policy

5:22 PM, 25 August 2014

Broadcasting PolicyBoth the Green Party and New Zealand First have released policy statements on broadcasting for this election. Here is what they have to propose:

Green Party policy does support self-regulation, yet they propose the merging of the ASA, BSA, and Press Council, to establish a new Broadcasting Commission - to set rules relating to self-regulation. They make a note that: “In the event that self-regulation can be demonstrated to have failed, (we will) allow the agency to issue minimum codes or regulations.”

ANZA says: The Green Party’s policy again reflects poor knowledge on the current self-regulation policies in place for broadcasting -  which are working effectively and successfully for the interests of consumers.

The Green’s wish to support TVNZ’s Channel One becoming a commercial free, NZ focused channel. They aim to move commercial advertisements away from screening during pre-school and school-age children’s television.

Recent new policy will amend the Broadcasting Act and Telecommunications Act to require targets for phasing in 100% captioning for Television New Zealand by 2017 (TV1 and TV2) and TV3 by 2020. Other broadcasters will have targets and timeframes set on a case by case basis. On demand TV will also be required to provide captions.

ANZA says: We are pleased to see the Green Party highlighting the importance of captioning, which is consistent with ANZA’s encouragement of advertisers to caption their television and video content.

New Zealand First aims to promote the development of a broadcasting industry that is responsive to audience needs, respects community standards, and places a high priority on the protection of children from harmful material. Policy will also raise broadcasting standards especially in relation to violence, obscenities, and pornography.

ANZA says: It is difficult to see how a broadcasting industry that “is responsive to audience needs” will differ from what we have today, with broadcasters responding to audience demand. As to the rest of the policy the key point, often lost in attacks on advertising, is that advertising has far higher standards with regard to language, violence and offensiveness than does content. As ANZA often argues, if you want to see responsible drinking, watch the ads not the programmes.

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