New Zealand is the only non-European country in the top ten of the Reporters without Borders Press Freedom Index for 2013. New Zealand has climbed five places to eighth in the annual list. Malawi are the biggest climbers, moving up 71 places to 75th place. Cote d’Ivoire climbed 63 to 96th, Burma is up 18 to 151, and Afghanistan is up 22 to 128. Mali dropped the furthest, down 74 places to 99th, while Tanzania, Oman, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Macedonia also suffered large drops. Eritrea, North Korea, Turkmenistan, Syria and Somalia make up the bottom five. Reporters Without Borders secretary general Christophe Deloire said certain types of political systems are more conducive to press freedom than others. New Zealand has jumped into the top ten that this is huge for journalists in the area.
“The Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders does not take direct account of the kind of political system but it is clear that democracies provide better protection for the freedom to produce and circulate accurate news and information than countries where human rights are flouted,” Deloire said. “In dictatorships, news providers and their families are exposed to ruthless reprisals, while in democracies news providers have to cope with the media’s economic crises and conflicts of interest. While their situation is not always comparable, we should pay tribute to all those who resist pressure whether it is aggressively focused or diffuse.” Massey University journalism lecturer Cathy Strong told Newstalk ZB New Zealanders can be blasé about the information the media has access to. She says information gained about mayors, MPs, and what is happening in Parliament is because the media is there covering it all the time. More freedom is allowed for journalists in New Zealand more than any other place within tens of thousands of miles. They’re right next to Australia and still have better journalists and opportunities for them.
Will Australia ever climb out of just average for world rankings?
What makes New Zealand a great place to be a journalist?
by Craig Waldron
Average Internet connection speeds in Australia dropped 23 per cent year-on-year in 2012, according to a report by Akamai Technologies. Average connection speeds in the 2012 quarter fell 2.3 per cent compared to Q3, according to the Fourth Quarter 2012 State of the Internet report. Australia’s global ranking for connection speeds fell one place to 41 in the quarter, compared to the previous quarter. The report found adoption rates of broadband of speeds greater than 10Mbps in Australia fell 56 per cent, compared to the same period in 2011, while global broadband adoption rates greater than 4Mbps increased 42 per cent. Globally, average Internet speeds increased 5 per cent to 2.9Mbps quarter-on-quarter. Year-on-year, average connection speeds increased 25 per cent, with the Netherlands, Hong Kong and Japan all reporting growth.
Peak global Internet speeds increased 35 per cent year-on-year, according to the report. Average connection speeds on surveyed mobile networks ranged from 345kbps to 8.0Mbps in the fourth quarter, with 64 providers delivering average connection speeds of more than 1Mbps. The report also found China accounted for 41 per cent of online attack traffic, up from 33 per cent in the previous quarter, followed by the US accounting for 10 per cent of attack traffic. DDoS attacks reported by Akamai customers increased more than 200 per cent from 2011, with 768 attacks reported by 413 unique organizations. A total of 35 per cent of those attacks targeted the commerce sector and 22 per cent on media and entertainment companies.
Does Australia need to find a way to boost internet speeds nationally or just locally?
Are customers aware of the poor service they are receiving?
by Craig Waldron
The Nine Network and Fairfax Media say advertiser interest in their new, jointly produced business news TV show has been so great they have fielded a few angry calls from advertisers denied the opportunity to book airtime. Financial Review Sunday, pools the reporting and production resources of Fairfax’s Australian Financial Review and the Nine Network in a half-hour program. Financial Review Group chief executive Brett Clegg said the program would be the “Sunday edition” of the Monday-to-Saturday AFR and would complete the paper’s status as a 24/7, multi-platform brand. The program will be profitable from the start, with more than 30 weeks of advertising booked in.
Financial Review Group commercial director Simon Smith said the advertising schedule for the new show had sold out within two days and the two sponsors, Westpac Bank and accounting industry body CPA Australia, had paid a premium to block other advertisers out. Nine and Fairfax’s arrangement is a partnership, sharing production costs and revenues, rather than a brand licensing exercise. Elements from the Financial Review, such as the Rear Window business gossip column, will feature in the program, presented by AFR journalist Joe Aston. The creation of Financial Review Sunday comes after Ten Network and News Limited combined resources this year to produce the Sunday morning program, Meet the Press. With the merger this concentrates the media even more and ownership continues to dwindle.
Will ownership of the media soon be a monopoly in Australia?
by Craig Waldron
Back in February two Australian DJs prank phone called a nurse in a local hospital about Kate Middleton. They impersonated Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles telling the nurse about morning sickness Middleton was experiencing. The nurse was so frantic about the situation she committed suicide due to the prank call. Recently the two DJs have been acquitted and won’t be charged with the involuntary actions the nurse committed.
This stems from the lack of media control in Australia. There is not a lot of regulation in the structure of the media in Australia allowing the two DJs to do such hostile acts. If there was more control over the airways of radio, this could have been avoided.
Does Australia need more control over what their employees are doing off the air?
Does the concentration of ownership have anything to do with this?
by Craig Waldron
Television in New Zealand differs from the television we have here in America. There are plenty of different providers that we can access television compared to a select few they have in New Zealand. SKYTV was a monopoly for the private television besides the public broadcasts for nearly ten years until recent launch of Freeview in 2007. Along with Fairfax New Zealand, they dominate the distribution of media.
New Zealand only has 27 networks for radio. They may be a small country, but with the conglomerates that come from Australia, there is no room for more advancement. They have a struggle with the power of the signals as well due to indigenous parts of the country and high concentration of the population in only a few cities.
Blogging has become a big part of the New Zealand internet front. New Zealand political groups and politicians are big on blogging as they promote campaigns and discuss policies with Parliament. They are also ones to allow active comments on blog posts unlike other political blogs overseas. Some controversy has gone with blogging, such as in 2006 when a famed blogger was convicted of sedition. They have seen controversy with socialist groups and breaching classified information to the public. In recent years, most newspapers have been getting their breaking stories from bloggers rather than their own reporters. New Zealand hopes to stretch its footprint to nearly 70% of the country with high speed internet by 2019.
Newspaper has been on a steady declining source of media all over the world and New Zealand is no different. With the recent explosion of breaking news information, television, radio, and the internet, newspaper just cannot keep up with the overload of information. Newspapers are printed in both English and the native Maori, sometimes totally separated or with subtitles for the native culture of New Zealand. There are four major newspapers that are distributed throughout different parts of the island. Fairfax New Zealand controls nearly 50% of all distribution of newspapers.
Concentration of media in Australia and New Zealand has been a factor in their media systems. NewsCorp and the Fairfax Group have seemly run up a monopoly on both nations. Combined, they own 88% of the newspapers that are sent around Australia. Fairfax has dominated the scene in New Zealand with nearly doubling the amount of newspapers owned compared to anyone else. Together, both of these groups own close to 90% of all media that is transferred throughout the airways and print in Australia and New Zealand. One of the issues also has to deal with the way news is distributed. Australia’s main news outlet on television is Media Watch which is funded by government ran ABC.
With centralizing media outlets, there is only one point of view to both countries. There isn’t a lot of different government ran media outlets and their source of news is being programmed by only two people. How is news perceived by the people of Australia and New Zealand if they have different opinions? They are being force fed news that may not be the news they want to here. NewsCorp and Fairfax could program whatever they want because they control all of the media outlets but 10%. It may be reliable news at the time, but there comes a time where questions arise of sketchy news.
New Zealand is known for its extensive political blogging. There have been numerous times where a blog has been published that have brought up controversy. Some include prison experiences by high profiled bloggers such as Tim Selwyn and Martyn Bradbury. They were charged with sedition because of blog posts. When the media is controlled by one ruler, nothing that the people want to hear will get out to the public.