Here’s Simon Collins, NZ Herald social affairs reporter and EPMU delegate’s summary of the Journalism Matters conference held over the weekend 11-12 August in Wellington.
About 115 people attended the media summit organised by the journalists’ scetion of the EPMU at Parliament over the weekend, including journalists from all sections of the media. There has been nothing like it in my 31 years as a journalist.
Outcomes were (summarised):
1. The EPMU will lead a review of journalism in NZ over the next 6 months, inviting public submissions on the effects of growing commercial pressures on journalism, journalists’pay rates and the resulting loss of talent to PR, freelance pay rates, union membership, public interest broadcasting and the growing pressure on journalists to serve multiple media at once.
2. The EPMU will also review the Journalists’ Code of Ethics, available as Rule 42 of the EPMU rules at:
Public submissions will, be sought for this review too. The code needs to be updated to take account of new technology.
3. We want taxpayer funding of TVNZ to be increased to a level that allows it to be a true public service broadcaster.
4. We urge everyone concerned about democratic media to take every opportunity to create new media outlets committed to providing people with information about public issues in a coherent form, facilitating an exchange of ideas about those issues and building a sense of social cohesion as a foundation for social action.
5. We support the work of the Bruce Jesson Foundation and urge other funders to fund independent investigative journalism on important public issues.
6. We will establish a Movement for Democratic Media, with membership open to all NZers as well as the union, to create, support and link local websites and other media outlets reporting on public issues, and to campaign for publicly funded broadcasting. We hope to organise a planning meeting to establish an Auckland branch of the movement in the near future. If you’re keen to be involved, please let me know.
I was interviewed by 95bFM on Sunday morning about the conference, you can hear the audio here.