Sydney, Australia, Feb 8 (EFE).- The government of New Zealand on Wednesday canceled its plans to merge public broadcasters Radio New Zealand (RNZ) and TVNZ to focus its efforts on mitigating the rising cost of living in the country.
“Work on the TVNZ-RNZ public media entity will stop entirely. Support for public media needs to be at a lower cost and without such significant structural change,” said new prime minister Chris Hipkins in a statement issued after a Cabinet meeting in Wellington.
“Cabinet has agreed to provide Radio New Zealand with additional funding to strengthen its public media role. New Zealand on Air will also receive additional funding to support public media content and that funding will be available to a wider range of broadcasters. Remaining funding will be redirected to other government priorities.”
RNZ, which is fully publicly funded, and TVNZ, which earns 90 percent of its revenue from commercial activity such as advertising, compete with various private media organizations such as NZME and Stuff.
The NGO Reporters Without Borders, which last year ranked New Zealand 11th out of 180 countries in press freedom, highlighted in its 2022 report that the country has improved its situation regarding pluralism and editorial independence with the 2020 approval of antitrust laws. EFE