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Asia and the Pacific
Western Asia

New Zealand - April 2024

Media crisis deepens

A years-long crisis in New Zealand’s media industry worsened significantly enough in March and April 2024 that observers are raising concerns over the industry’s ability to adequately inform the public and hold politicians to account. Television and online news company Newshub announced it would shut down on 10 April and lay off nearly 300 staff. With its closure and layoffs elsewhere over the last several months, the country now has only one television news service, the state-owned broadcaster TVNZ – which also reduced its news programming and laid off 60 news journalists in April. While media around the world have struggled to adjust their business models to the internet age, the situation is particularly acute in New Zealand, where the number of working journalists has declined from 4071 in 2000 to 1674 today. Media concentration has become severe, as 78.5 per cent of journalists work for one of five employers. Public relations professionals now outnumber their media counterparts by as much as ten to one, leading one observer to label New Zealand “a public relations democracy” and others to raise concerns over the consequences for freedom of media and expression in the country.

Sources: The Guardian, Radio New Zealand, The Spinoff, New Zealand Herald, The Conversation

Primary categories and factors
Rights -1 Rights  (-1)
Civil Liberties
Freedom of The Press

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