Monday, February 22, 2010

Herald misses point on Radio NZ

The NZ Herald editorial makes this statement:

"The quality of Radio NZ's service will be compromised for a minor monetary gain at a time when the broadcaster says audiences are at an all-time high"

Nonsense. If you are worried about the quality of Radio NZ's service (a subjective measure, but I'll leave it to you), then you CAN do something about it.

Donate money to Radio NZ.

Not used to paying for things you like? You should be. It's what you do if you subscribe to Sky TV, or buy books and magazines, go to the movies etc. Why is this any different?

Stop wanting to bludge off of other taxpayers for your own personal choice. If audiences are at an all time high then great. You too can set up a campaign to support Radio NZ.

Seems a bit hard? Well you might learn something. Businesses don't (typically) get handouts to start up, neither do charities.

Or would you rather spend your money on dessert, a bottle of wine, a holiday, some CDs you like? Because when it comes down to it, you only care enough about Radio NZ to lobby the state to make others pay for it.


Anonymous said...

Funding broadcasting through a licence fee is as much public funding as funding it through taxes is. The ABC in Australia was funded through a licence fee until 1973, now it's through taxation.

Sure, the Right in Australia bitch about the ABC and SBS, but not enough to want to close them down or sell them off. But I prefer Australia to NZ generally - more cosmopolitan, better voting system, better-looking women, better place generally.

Even with donations, PBS and NPR in the US still depend on tax dollars for their upkeep - not that that makes them any more 'fair and balanced'.

NZ Libertarianism, how 1980s. NZ free marketeers are like a man who shackled himself to a ball and chain for forty years and then went around telling everyone how fast he can run without it.

Funny how you're in the UK, where most people with broadband internet (via ADSL) benefit from Local Loop Unbundling, which you regard as tantamount to communism. And people wonder why broadband in NZ is so crap?

Okay, many people get broadband via Virgin cable, but if they can't, they can get it through a BT line. But then again they can get even faster ADSL2+ broadband-
thanks to local loop unbundling.

heisenbug said...

Anonymous, close your mouth and think for a second. Nobody said local loop unbundling is tantamount to communism; having a carrier-neutral local loop is a good thing. The problem in NZ's case comes from the fact that LLU was forcibly enacted by trampling all over private property rights without any compensation whatsoever. How about we take your house to turn into a supermarket and kick you out without bothering to buy the house from you? It's the same thing. Muppet.

Mo said...

I can summarize Australia with three words: insular, protectionist and nanny-state. All of which apply to NZ as well just on a more bigger scale.

libertyscott said...

Anonymous: "Fair and balanced" is code for "ensures my point of view is heard" to most people.

I don't know why LLU is relevant here, although the big thing in the UK compared to NZ is that far more content is hosted locally and the cost of US-UK data lines is more evenly shared. NZ has to pay to connect to the rest of the world. Bear in mind that the UK regulatory framework was well known when BT was privatised, in NZ it changed radically.

Yes just over half of the UK has cable broadband, but you'll notice BT doesn't invest more than it has to, because of LLU. As a result, it doesn't roll out HFC or FTH networks because there is no advantage in doing so.

NZ is now facing Telecom, unwilling to build its own network (Telstra Clear gave up when it was clear the last government would hand over Telecom's network), so the state is stepping in.

One big mistake has stifled network investment, and now the state is waltzing in to fill a gap that it helped create in the first place.

Oh and Australia has multiple layers of protectionism, subsidy and state privilege. One economist told me that Australia's GDP is around 5% less than it could be, because its mineral wealth sees it pouring buckets down the drain of all sorts of uneconomic activities.

The Australian Federal Government activities in protecting Qantas over many years being one small example. That started the whole Ansett-Air NZ debacle in the first place.