It’s been an interesting, and worthwhile-watching, week so far – with the entertainment provided by Mr Scab-Ripper-in-Chief Peters turning the tables, so to speak, in holding media to account, a highlight. They don’t like it up ’em, do they Captain Mainwaring?

To see the industry figures run for cover while weakly lobbing back damp-squib Molotovs Mr Peters’s way in accusations of ‘baseless’ and ‘unfounded’ is quite remarkable, and hilarious. They know it. They didn’t just damage trust in their brand: they wrapped it around a lamp post in accepting tainted, conditional money. The last thing they need is Hipkins chipping in, snapping at Peters’s heels, with his toothless two-cents worth: “Hipkins pointed out the fund was set up when Peters was last deputy prime minister, and said he supported it at the time.” Which is, unsurprisingly, a fib.

Cabinet, including Peters, approved the financial vote for a news-media industry support package to be administered by NZ on Air of a yet-to-be-determined shape and scope in a paper which mentioned countering Covid mis/disinformation three times, but articles of the Treaty not at all.

NZOA scoped interested parties in early 2021 after Peters had left office, in which discussions industry players expressed disappointment that NZOA had the view of sponsoring specific content, rather than providing financial bridging support to the industry as a whole. They warned NZOA:

Most interviewees mentioned that the Government was running a reputational risk in becoming involved in the direct funding of news.

In what would be described later as NZOA “effectively holding a ‘beauty contest’ to choose which proposed stories/investigations merited support”.

NZOA ignored those concerns and went on concocting, half-cocked and off-piste, deciding to “apply a Te Tiriti based partnership approach to the delivery of the PIJF” in ‘partnership’ with Te Mangai Paho whose function is ‘to promote Maori language and culture’. From that collaboration, the Frankenstein funding criteria emerged in which applicants were required to ‘Inform’ of some things, ‘Provide’ of others, ‘Reflect’ and ‘Encourage’ still more, but only one thing, one, were they to “Actively promote”, and that, as we all know, was the political arsenic “the principles of Partnership, Participation and Active Protection under Te Tiriti o Waitangi acknowledging Maori as a Ti Tiriti partner”. A purely political stance.

Public Interest Journalism Fund. The BFD.

Receivers of the dirty pieces of silver knew the risks but took off that tainted pile anyway. Thus: compromised they willingly became. Refusing to stare the elephant in the room in the eye and admit they were wrong doesn’t make the perception of corruption go away, it just gives the elephant more opportunity to soil the carpet.

Come clean NZ media; Peters is right, you were wrong.

Media rollout. Cartoon credit: SonovaMin. The BFD

Living in Wellington idbkiwi is self-employed in a non-governmental role which suits his masochistic tendencies. He watches very little television, preferring to read or research, but still subscribes...