The Times' editorial ("Public TV goes quietly" July 3) is certainly right when its says, "The Government's indifference to programming of this type screened by TVNZ was disquieting enough but, within hours of the plug being pulled, the Government renewed a contract allowing MediaWorks to run Kiwi FM for another six months."
Together with the drive to hock off our national assets, this support of private interests in the media should leave no-one in any doubt on whose behalf this Government is running New Zealand.
However, the Times' editorial gets it wrong, where it says, "but the protesters seem to have been academics, television producers and citizens inclined to elitist views about our culture".
Here is the tired old "elitism" argument again.
To get it straight, elites bar outsiders from entry; the whole point of TVNZ7 is access for everyone, without having to fork out to Rupert Murdoch or to put up with almost as much advertising as programming, so that, in the case of our TVNZ, it can pay our Government a dividend.
The arguments for the sort of public-service broadcasting this Government has just taken off us are these: it is accessible to all, it serves the public interest in all its shapes, its emphasis is on quality, balance and impartiality, it makes provision for minorities, it has a commitment to education of the public, it provides freedom to produce challenging and controversial programming, it is independent from political and commercial interference, and it provides a forum for expression of national cultural identity. (Abridged)
- Waikato Times