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PM's DJ stint subject of complaint

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Clare Curran
Clare Curran

Labour's Broadcasting spokesperson, Clare Curran, has deep concerns over Mediaworks' handling of its decision to allocate the Prime Minister a one-hour hosting slot last week.

The party has lodged a complaint with the Broadcasting Standards Authority over the show, which aired on Radio Live, a subsidiary of Mediaworks, on Friday. In 2009 the Government effectively subsidised Mediaworks to the tune of $43.3 million in a deferred payment deal.

"In light of that multi-million dollar loan it is even more important for Mediaworks to ensure they are balanced in their election coverage. Unfortunately installing the Prime Minister as the sole host of a 60 minute live broadcast less than two months out from election day shows a blatant disregard for fairness and balance," Clare Curran said.

"John Key was effectively handed editorial control. His comments regarding the fact it was supposedly an 'election free zone' explicitly linked the programme to the election.

"He was gifted an uninterrupted hour to promote his - and National's - brand and his personality. He spent much of it emphasising his personal connection to his various 'celebrity' guests.

"Put simply, the John Key Hour was not an ordinary, everyday radio show, it was an election gimmick.

"The electoral system is based on fairness, responsibility and impartiality to enable all New Zealanders to make their voting choice without pressure or misleading information.

"All broadcasters should be exercising the utmost caution and restraint as we head into the election to not favour one political party or politician over any other.

"Ironically, at a the time we have a private broadcaster offering the Prime Minister his own show, we have the Prime Minister and his party putting the boot into public broadcasting.

"Coincidence? I don't think so," Clare Curran said

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