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  • rmacculloch

TVNZ's Charter says it must be impartial. Its attack on the new govt breaks that Charter.

TVNZ's Charter states that it must "provide independent, comprehensive, impartial & in-depth coverage & analysis of news & current affairs in NZ and throughout the world and of the activities of public and private institutions". After all, it is funded by taxpayers.


In the UK, the State-owned BBC is under furious attack in Parliament, and even by its own Chairman, since sports commentator Gary Lineker criticized the Conservative government's Rwanda plan (to send refugees arriving in Britain to that country). The critique wasn't even made on a BBC show - it was a personal tweet by Lineker. The BBC's Charter says it "should provide duly accurate & impartial news, current affairs & factual programming to build people’s understanding of all parts of the UK and of the wider world". Ring any bells?


Let's compare the BBC situation with TVNZ's. Bear in mind before you read the following extracts from TVNZ reporter John Campbell's article on the OneNews website that everything in the Coalition Agreement was openly & transparently put to voters by National, ACT & NZ First before the election. Over half the country voted in support of those agreed policies. Yet these phrases come from what TVNZ's Campbell had to say about them:


Luxon .. brandishing the phrase “massive alignment around the goals” ... Miniature, seemed like a better ‘m’ word. Or mean ... On it went ... Like a sermon. Or a sulk made formal ... for Māori ... is the coalition's heart of darkness ... The late-night ravings of a man alone in a bar ... There is a kind of re-colonising here ... deeply regressive ... The dearth of decent & transformative hope .. wilful omissions ... A climate of denial ... the [coalition] agreements feel like they come from a time before we knew better. Before the science ... Luxon has talked ... of getting the “country moving forward”. But this doesn’t feel forward ... it feels deeply & nostalgically conservative. A winding back of the clock ... Aspiration? Not for the poor ... And the men [Luxon, Peters & Seymour], too, as it turned out. Empty of ideas. Dreams? Not really .. But what peculiar obsessions they’ve revealed ... dog whistling. What a terrible waste .. The first formal, 3-party coalition Government in our country’s history, and it somehow manages to seem small. “We cannot wait to get stuck in”, Luxon said, as he looked up from this narrow, limp vision of our future.


For goodness sakes, he attacks the conservative National Party for being ... conservative!? The coalition agreement is not in contempt of the poor, environment, nor discriminatory. It reads as an alternative approach to Labour's - an approach that was put to the public who voted and supported it. Using words like "mean", "darkness", "regressive", "limp" & "waste" to describe it unambigously breaks impartiality. And breaks TVNZ's Charter.


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