Commerce Commission must investigate media collusion for possible cartel behaviour
The Taxpayers’ Union understands from a senior media source that Stuff had invited competitors to a proposed meeting tomorrow with Broadcasting Minister Willie Jackson with the apparent purpose of agreeing to set of principles or guidelines for how Māori and Treaty matters should be reported on by those in the mainstream media industry. The Taxpayers’ Union had earlier requested an interview with Radio NZ’s CEO on the proposed meeting, but this was not agreed to.
Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams said:
“Putting aside the constitutional questionability of the Minister getting together with the fourth estate executives to ‘agree’ on how a contentious matter should be reported, there appears to be Commerce Act questions about an attempt for industry collusion.
“Groupthink in our newsrooms is one thing, but agreeing with competitors on commercial conduct isn’t just wrong, it could be criminal.
“The Commerce Commission needs to launch an investigation into the circumstances of the meeting, who organised it, and what has been written about its purpose. We hope that our source is wrong, and that nothing untoward is involved, but for the public’s trust in the media, we need them to get to the bottom of this.”