The New Zealand journalists’ union issued the following media release, more on this story later.
April 17, 2007
Media in crisis, say NZ journalists
Journalists from news organisations across the country have condemned proposals to cut editorial staff at TVNZ and APN at an industry meeting in Wellington.
The meeting also called for a major summit this year to address the growing crisis in the New Zealand media.
The resolution was passed unanimously by representatives of more than 5000 print and media workers at the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union’s Print & Media Industry Council, which has been meeting yesterday and today to discuss the union’s strategy to fight the cuts.
Simon Collins, an EPMU delegate at the New Zealand Herald, says journalists are alarmed at the growing crisis in the New Zealand media.
“New Zealand journalists are alarmed at the decline in quality reporting that’s being driven by commercial pressures.
– “We see the proposed cuts at TVNZ and APN as a fundamental attack on news quality that will lead to less in-depth coverage, less accuracy, and more important stories left untold.”
Collins says good journalism is crucial to the functioning of our democracy.
“As journalists we feel a responsibility to speak out in the interests of the New Zealand public and demand media companies invest in good journalism so we can fulfil our proper democratic function.”
The EPMU-sponsored summit will be open to anybody with an interest in the media and will include international speakers, news professionals and academics, and community leaders.
Resolution of the Print & Media Industry Council, 16-17 April 2007
That this council condemns the decline in journalistic standards that has resulted from the over-commercialisation of New Zealand’s media.
The council endorses measures to halt the decline in truth and quality reporting in print and electronic media.
We demand appropriate staffing levels, training and promotion of professional standards and ethics.
We condemn and express alarm at the likely loss of freedom of expression, quality journalism, and range of voices that will result from proposed cuts to TVNZ and APN newspapers.
We reaffirm our journalistic commitment to providing news and information to serve all citizens and our democracy regardless of commercial pressures.