Go to:

Judith Collins, Craig Foss

12 September, 2013

Government responds to news media report

Justice Minister Judith Collins and Broadcasting Minister Craig Foss have today announced the Government’s response to the Law Commission’s report on regulation of news media.

The report, The News Media Meets “New Media”: Rights, Responsibilities and Regulation in the Digital Age, considered how unregulated news media could be regulated and/or if our current regulatory bodies should be extended to cover media such as blogs.

“I thank the Law Commission for its thorough report proposing innovative solutions to the regulatory challenges presented by new media providers and new media platforms,” Ms Collins says.

“We expect that print and on-line media outlets will continue to strengthen their self-regulation while the Broadcasting Standards Authority will retain its responsibility for TV and radio under the Broadcasting Act.”

Ms Collins says the Government has decided not to establish a single independent regulatory body to hear complaints across all news media formats at this time.

Currently, there is one regulator for each media format, for example the Press Council for print media and the Broadcasting Standards Authority for television and radio.

“Unlike recent reviews in the UK and Australia, the Law Commission’s report was not driven by a crisis of confidence in the mainstream media,” Ms Collins says.

“The media in New Zealand have already made good progress in dealing with these challenges, for instance through the setting up of the Online Media Standards Authority. There is no pressing need for statutory or institutional change.”

Mr Foss says the Law Commission proposal will be kept in mind as an option should reform be necessary in the future.

“The Government is well aware of the importance of fostering a well-functioning and independent fourth estate,” says Mr Foss.

“While we’re not taking action now, I’d like to send a clear message that the Government expects the news media industry to continue to develop solutions to the regulatory difficulties presented by media using multiple technology platforms.”