Save Radio New Zealand Facebook Site A Huge Hit With Kiwis
A Facebook group, Save Radio New Zealand has attracted over 13,500 fans since its creation one week ago, and is still growing rapidly.
The group was set up last week after the Minister of Broadcasting Jonathan Coleman told Radio New Zealand’s Board it had to deliver cost saving measures such as introducing sponsorship or reducing its Auckland operation.
The Save Radio New Zealand Campaign founder Jake Quinn was astonished at the rapid growth the social networking site attracted, noting there was immediate and widespread support for Radio New Zealand from all parts of the country, as well as many Kiwis with other nationalities, including many from Pacific Islands sending their support from overseas.
“I saw media reports that Coleman was putting the screws on Radio New Zealand, which, as a huge RNZ fan, really irked me. So I went online and put the site up on Facebook. By morning there were 300 fans, 1000 by close of the day, and since it’s sky-rocketed to over 13,500. There is no way the Government can ignore this shock and outrage.”
“Radio New Zealand is the last true provider of public service broadcasting in this country. Coleman is talking about getting rid of FM frequencies, closing regional offices, making advertising and sponsorship an option for flagship shows. This is about the worst set of ideas I’ve ever heard,” said Quinn. “Judging by the comments left on Facebook, thousands of people agree with me and they’re willing to fight for their rights to listen to their beloved noncommercial station.”
“What’s more, I think he just totally misread how Kiwis feel about their iconic state radio broadcaster. Even with National party supporters these moves are unpopular. Across rural New Zealand, in the city’s, among young and old, RNZ National and Concert FM are a huge hit. Last year RNZ National won Radio Station of the Year at the Radio Awards and its currently pulling in its highest listenership and that is all with very minimal marketing and publicity.”
Quinn has been surprised at the variety of comments and at bloggers who have added their support and are well informed about the facts. “Brian Rudman pointed out that a KPMG review of RNZ funding in 2007 said the broadcaster was already on stale bread rations, was understaffed and needed more than $10 million extra in annual income.”
There have been hundreds of other comments, including from those who listen to Radio New Zealand National in the middle of the night – and are very worried about the RNZ board’s suggestion it may have to turn the station off between midnight and 6am to save money.
Tomorrow lunchtime between 1-2pm (Thursday 25 February) the first in a series of planned nationwide protests will begin in Wellington at Parliament. People are encouraged to bring their portable radios and tune-in to RNZ National’s Afternoons with Jim Mora. This last minute action was planned as the House is about to go into recess until mid March.
“Even if there are only 100 people there, we want to show Coleman that New Zealander’s love their state broadcaster. It’s the lifeblood of our history, literature, music, arts, farming communities, sports commentary, comedy, drama, hear stunning documentary about life in New Zealand and so much more. It’s where we can celebrate ourselves and the people will not be silenced.”
Those who can’t make the protest action are encouraged to tune-in to RNZ National and play it really LOUD between 1-2pm to stimulate conversations with neighbours, friends and relatives about why they love hearing New Zealand on the nationwide broadcaster.