ANZA plea for Government action

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AUCKLAND, Thursday: The announcement that Bauer Media is closing its NZ operations immediately “should be setting off alarm bells with regulators for the future of local media, if they weren’t ringing already”, says ANZA ceo Lindsay Mouat.

“Virtually all publicly owned media, apart from the global online platforms, are at a tipping point. The Covid-19 crisis, with the associated reduction in advertising revenue as businesses close or contract, has been the catalyst for Bauer to cross that point.

“Others remain at risk, with a long list of local media assets for sale and very few apparent buyers.

“Bauer is the canary down the media coalmine.”

“ANZA is urging Broadcasting, Communications/Digital Media Minister Kris Faafoi to broaden the focus of the recently established review of the Government- owned media assets, Radio New Zealand and TVNZ, to that of New Zealand media more widely.

“The ACCC’s digital platforms report released in 2019 provides an excellent place to start.

“There is the very real risk that the future of media in this country is a mix of only existing Government-owned assets, global online platforms and a small number of niche news offerings.

“We believe this would be an unacceptable outcome for New Zealand. Without diverse media, there are obvious risks for society, democracy as well as the economy as we work toward a post-covid recovery.

“Recognising that time is critical, we call on the Government to urgently investigate and implement steps that can be undertaken in the short-term to support local media while this occurs.”

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