Plans for a mass media watchdog have been put forward, but not everyone is convinced.
The Law Commission has recommended a News Media Standards Authority be set up to replace the Press Council, the BSA, and the newly-formed Online Media Standards Authority (OMSA).
It is thought that one universal body would help address public confusion around the complaints procedure, and see universal standards applied across all news mediums.
The Newspaper Publishers’ Association hopes the idea will be based around the existing Press Council structure. NPA Editorial Adviser, Tim Pankhurst, says the Press Council is already well-placed to assume that role.
“It has existed for 40 years. It has served the public well. It’s an efficient model, it’s industry-funded, and it's self-regulated and independent. All those things are important."
Internet New Zealand is welcoming the recommendation.
Spokesperson, Susan Chalmers, says it is pleasing to see the commission has recognised that regulation across media should be principles-based and technology-neutral. She says the line between old media and new media has blurred almost beyond recognition.
However, OMSA Chair, Clare Bradley, says they are not convinced consumers have any issue with the way things are currently going. She says there will be less confusion once their organisation is up and running.
The Online Media Standards Authority is due to launch within the next couple of months. Clare Bradley says they have put a lot of work into setting up their new authority.
"We've been really delighted with that and we're feeling really confident about the quality of the decision-making that will come out of that process."
Nor are print journalists expected to embrace the idea.
Media commentator, Jim Tully, says they have been able to self-regulate up until now.
"Print journalists may not be necessarily thrilled at the idea of being subjected to some kind of watch-dog imposed upon them."
Membership of the News Media Standards Authority would be voluntary and would also be open to current affairs bloggers, as long as they are accountable to the standards body.
Cameron Slater - known for his blog 'Whale Oil' - says there would be plenty of benefits for bloggers, such as being taken seriously - and it would be easier to join the parliamentary press gallery.
"But with those benefits there also comes responsibility - and if you’re going to join, you have to have a disputes process and the ability to deal with complaints."
The government will examine the recommendations and report back later this year.
- Newstalkzb/RBG News
The Law Commission is calling for an independent media watchdog, and John Burrows, formally from the Law Commission explains.
There's a suggestion the Broadcasting Standards Authority and the Press Council could be scrapped.
The Law Commission unveiled plans today that proposed replacing those two bodies with an umbrella News Media Standards Authority. 'NiMSA' would deal with all mass media complaints, including those relating to the internet.
The Law Commission's Professor John Burrows said NiMSA would have a voluntary membership, balanced by its broader reach and one-stop-shop capabilities. He explained it would mean if he ever had unkind things said about him in all branches of the media and that went viral, then he would have to make just one complaint for all media to be investigated.
- Newstalk ZB
British politicians have reached a deal on a new media watchdog system of newspaper self-regulation that they insist won't restrict hundreds of years of freedom of the press.
All three main political parties have claimed victory in the protracted negotiations.
They were sparked by the Leveson Inquiry's review of press standards following the phone-hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch's now-closed News of the World tabloid.
Prime Minister David Cameron says the compromise avoids a stifling press law.
Guardian correspondent Steve Hewlett says it's likely to prevent newspapers publishing things they know are untrue, but questions what will happen to important marginal decisions.
Steve Hewlett says media will have to decide whether they take the risk of publishing something they may get reprimanded for, which is the hallmark of a free press, or whether they hold back from publishing something that is questionable on the off chance they will get caught.
He says victims of bad press behaviour will see it as a victory, but the long term consequences of a regime this strict are unclear.
- RBG News/Newstalk ZB
Associate Professor Antonia Lyons from the School of Psychology at Massey University discusses her research on alcohol companies using social media marketing.
This year's National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) conference in Nashville, Tennessee has wrapped up with a word of caution as well as rejoicing.
The NRB 2013 convention ran 2-5 March, and one cause for celebration was the news of the hugely successful launch of the brand new "Bible" series on the History Channel. The first episode screened on Day 2 of the conference - Sunday 3 March - and American audiences tuned in to watch in their droves, leading to a staggering figure of 14.8 million viewers. That eclipsed any other programme airing that night.
Rhema Broadcasting Group (RBG) representatives were there at this year's NRB convention, and commented the public's response to "The Bible" was incredible and made it the History Channel's largest-ever cable audience. RBG Head of Television & Production, Terry Cobham, explained that the visionaries behind the 22-million-dollar series - Mark Burnett and his wife, actress Roma Downey - have had a wealth of experience producing successful shows, such as "Survivor", "The Voice", and "The Apprentice".
RBG's Shine TV is currently running a similar programme of movie-length features based on stories from the Old and New Testaments, called "The Bible Series".
The NRB convention also addressed concerns facing American Christians. With some guest speakers warning that they may eventually be forced to practice civil disobedience, Terry Cobham noted the NRB represents a large proportion of American evangelicals who could have difficulty accepting a situation where their government legislated in a way that was in conflict with some of their beliefs.
Conference speakers, Southern Baptist leader Richard Land and NRB board member Janet Parshall, cited the same-sex marriage movement and President Obama's birth control mandate as key reasons why Christians will be tested.
Richard Land said the issues of marriage and abortifacient contraceptives are non-negotiable, even at the cost of paying fines and going to jail; while Janet Parshall declared that today's Christians may have to decide whether to "bow our knee" to government or to God.
The U.S. Supreme Court is considering cases filed by supporters of same-sex marriage this month; while dozens of lawsuits have been filed against the birth control mandate in ‘Obama-care’, which encompasses health insurance reform.
The NRB's President added that Christian broadcasters' religious freedom is at risk. Frank Wright urged those who attended this year's convention to defend their right to spread the Gospel. He warned biblical teachings are being dubbed hate speech, while there's growing potential in the US for discrimination lawsuits against Christian organizations for refusing to hire non-believers.
Mr Wright concluded that, "Restrictions on religious freedom anywhere are threats to religious freedom everywhere."
RBG's interviews with NRB 2013's guests and artists will be screened on Shine TV later in the year.
- CBN News/ RBG News
Long-time New Zealand broadcaster Phillip Leishman has died after a long running battle with cancer.
The 61-year-old had a brain tumour operated on in March 2012 and it was hoped he would make a full recovery.
However, the cancer returned, resulting in the broadcaster falling seriously ill again last week.
Colleague Brendan Telfer says no other broadcaster has been able to match the longevity of Phillip Leishman, having been part of television and radio for 41 years.
Telfer says Leishman mastered the art of being natural in front of a camera, which is a difficult thing to do.
Phillip’s younger brother Mark Leishman, who's best known for presenting Tux Wonder Dogs, says Phillip was the reason why he got into broadcasting too.
Mark Leishman says when they were young, he and Phillip used to make radio shows on their stereogram.
He says his brother was always the announcer, while he had to be the news reader.
Leishman began broadcasting career in Dunedin regional station DNTV2 in the 1970s.
From there he went to fill a variety of roles including sports presenter and game show host.
In 2011 Leishman was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to broadcasting and the community.
In an interview late last year Leishman said he would like to be remembered as a “natural broadcaster” who loved his job.
- Rhema News/Newstalk ZB/Photo: Newstalk ZB
In the story of the Australian DJ’s who pretended to be the Queen and Prince Charles and pranked called the Hospital where Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge was staying… It turns out that one of the nurses who took the phone call at the private hospital has tragically taken her own life.
The situation leads to questions about media ethics, and Peter Shaw caught up with Allan Samson, an ex journalist and lecturer in journalism from Massey University.
Peter asked him if it was the law that the media must ask someone if they’re willing to be on air before playing a conversation to the public.
Listen below for the story.
A researcher from AUT, Merja Myllylahti, is the author of NZ Media Ownership Report, and this morning she talked with Pat about the state of the media in NZ.
Pat started the conversation, talking about how much of new Zealand’s mainstream media is owned by large trans-national corporations, and he asked Merja why it matters that our media is owned by these big corporations.
Listen below for the story.