Saturday, August 18, 2007

Corporate media criticism ignored

An open letter to The Press, 17 August 2007:

It is disappointing that your coverage of the weekend's Journalism Matters forum (16 August, Perspectives) excluded critical comments of the corporate media made by Judy McGregor and other speakers. Instead, Karl du Fresne peremptorily dismissed such critique with irrelevant slogans such as "union-backed" and "politicised", and criticism of individuals involved.

There are crucial issues to be debated here. Four companies, all overseas owned, dominate the New Zealand news media. There is a near duopoly in two of the three main media - print and radio - a monopoly in pay television, and only three significant competitors in free-to-air television including the state-owned channels. Each daily newspaper has a near monopoly in its main circulation areas. As one of these, and owned by one of the big four companies, The Press has more than usual responsibility to ensure that debate on these crucial issues is not angled defensively to protect its owner.

Bill Rosenberg

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