Broadcasting minister clears up comments on no trust in NZ television and radio

6:02 pm on 29 September 2022
Willie Jackson

Broadcasting Minister Willie Jackson says he did not mean to cast aspersions about the public's trust in TVNZ or RNZ. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

Broadcasting Minister Willie Jackson has clarified comments he made about the media, saying he did not mean to imply the public did not trust RNZ and TVNZ.

Jackson made the claim yesterday at Parliament as he was questioned by National Party broadcasting and media spokesperson Melissa Lee over the public media merger.

National has repeatedly challenged the proposal to fold TVNZ and RNZ into one entity this week.

Jackson defended the shake-up, arguing it was necessary because the public's view of the media had changed.

"The reality is we want TVNZ to work in tandem with us - and they're doing that - because New Zealand has changed. We have no longer a trust in national media - no longer is there a trust in what's happening at a national media level," he said.

"We need a trusted public broadcaster because national identity is incredibly important and no longer do people trust New Zealand television or New Zealand radio."

AUT research released this year found RNZ is New Zealand's most trusted news organisation, while TVNZ is the third. The survey did find, however, overall trust in news was declining.

Jackson has today clarified his comments, telling RNZ: "I didn't mean to say ... or cast aspersions in terms of TVNZ or RNZ, they still are a trusted medium. But all our surveys have told us that the public are losing faith with the media.

"TVNZ and RNZ are no doubt trusted broadcasters but the audiences are disappearing because we've got YouTube and everything else. What I said yesterday, I could've been a lot clearer."

In the House this afternoon, in response to questions from Lee, Jackson said he recognised his statement was "open to interpretation" and he wanted to clarify what he meant.

"Trust in media is slipping, both here and internationally, and this government wants to do something about it," he said.

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