Last year Stuff reported on the extent of media bludging from government troughs. It is eye-watering just how much taxpayer coin some media organisations have availed themselves of.

Media companies large and small claimed funding from the Government’s media package last year.

In April 2020, Broadcasting, Communications and Media Minister Kris Faafoi announced a $50 million support package for media struggling because of the Covid pandemic.

Most of the funding went to broadcast media, including $20.5m to cut Kordia TV and FM transmission fees. Officials won’t reveal which broadcasters claimed that money, or how much, citing commercial sensitivity.

However, Stuff can reveal who got what when it comes to the rest of the cash.

All up, the Government’s own TVNZ was the biggest beneficiary, getting more than $5 million from the package. Stuff Ltd., publisher of this website, followed on $2.37 million, almost equal to rival media company NZME, which got $2.19m.


Corporate bludgers the lot of them. Quite why TVNZ troughed so much is beyond me as they are owned by the government. Why steal even more taxpayer cash?

What is also illuminating is just how much media organisations have plundered the public purse for “subscriptions”:

The first tranche of the package was $1.3m to purchase subscriptions to paywalled media sites for Government employees. This fund burst its budget slightly, coming in at $1.5m

The biggest winner here was Fourth Estate Holdings, owners of the NBR, who received $271,120.

Trans Tasman is a little read, phoenix publication that previously went broke owing thousands to IRD. But somehow they’ve propped up what was left of the publication with $158,233 of your dollars.

The Spinoff scored $172,556 of taxpayer funding for subscriptions…oh wait…they don’t have subscriptions or a paywall, just donations. Despite that fact, the government has helpfully purchased subscriptions nonetheless. The Spinoff doesn’t carry advertising so it is not as if they need it because they lost advertising revenue.

Richard Harman’s CCP shill site is a one-man band that employs no one, nor does it have advertising, yet it managed to trouser $109,750.

The much-vaunted Newsroom also pocketed $217,641 for a site with less traffic than The BFD.

Scoop, a press release site with no advertising and a freemium subscription model picked the taxpayers pocket for $168,509. Scoop also dipped into the advertising fund to the tune of $1406.

This is what The BFD is up against. Massive state funding and subsidies of largely left-wing media. The BFD is mostly funded by our Members which is supplemented by advertising revenue.

This is a rather lopsided battle. We don’t have hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to fight the good fight. We have Member dollars. If readers don’t subscribe then they can hardly complain when we simply don’t have the bandwidth to cover everything.

Our volunteers and writers are going toe to toe with well funded and government subsidised competitors. It is an unfair fight, but we have a core philosophy of not dipping into taxpayer funds to keep the lights on.

We are funded by our community, and we intend to keep it that way. But we can only succeed and grow if our readers become Members.

We are essentially a lone voice in a sea of left-wing voices. Do you want us to disappear or would you rather we powered up our voice?

The BFD v. Major Media 2021

We perform well against major media organisations. The NZ Herald, Stuff, TVNZ and Newshub outperform us, but they have millions of dollars in revenues. The NZ Herald has recently been boasting of having 110,000 subscribers. This year we pulled ahead of left-wing shill site The Spinoff, and are consistently well ahead of Newsroom.

Overall, it is safe to say that The BFD is the fifth most popular news site in New Zealand.

When we look at similar sites we are again leading the pack:

The BFD v Similar sites 2021

Only The Spinoff and compete with us.

We are succeeding because our community backs us to be the voice for conservatives in an increasingly left-wing media landscape.

We need your support and we need your memberships. Will you support our community?

Join us now!

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