Band Lucy Craymer
WELLINGTON, March 10 (Reuters) – New Zealand announced on Thursday that it would merge its state-owned television and radio stations as the two broadcasters face increased competition and adapt to a changing media landscape.
The country’s broadcasting and media minister, Kris Faafoi, said in a statement that a new board would be appointed next month to oversee the creation of the new entity, which is expected to be operational by July 2023. .
“Whether it’s COVID, national emergencies or the Olympics, the past few years have shown how important a strong media environment is to reflect the stories, dreams and aspirations of New Zealanders and it is important that we help public media thrive,” Faafoi said.
“A public media entity that is resilient, sustainable and has the means to provide independent and reliable information is key for this,” he added.
The new entity will be owned by the government but with complete editorial independence, he said. It will receive both commercial and government funding, while services that are currently ad-free will remain so.
(Reporting by Lucy Craymer; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)
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