Friday, 5 February 2010

Media pay cash to cover Waitangi commemorations

The practice of cash-for-stories by the media is largely confined in New Zealand to the women's magazines and the occasional story in the Sunday papers.

But it seems most of the 'mainstream media' are coughing up cash today, to cover Waitangi Day commemorations at Te Tii Marae.

Ngapuhi elder Hama Apiata this morning demanded news organisations paid the tribe a monetary fee to attend the event. Stuff (Fairfax Media) and other organisations were told they had to pay a $500 fee, or they would not be allowed onto marae grounds, and their equipment would be confiscated.

Stuff reports that Maori TV and TVNZ both agreed to pay $1000 to let their cameras and reporters onto the lower Waitangi grounds (although Newstalk ZB reports only Maori TV paid the full $1000, with TVNZ paying a $500 'service fee').

The reports say TV3 and NZ Herald both initially refused to pay the fee, but both gave in with TV3 paying a 'koha' of $500, and NZ Herald paying an undisclosed koha (no details on whether this was also in cash, or perhaps by way of a couple of newspaper subscriptions and a nice set of steak knives?...) Fairfax Media claim they gave Ngapuhi a koha of just $20.
Late this morning, it seemed just Sky News/Prime TV and Newstalk ZB were holding firm to their principles of a 'free media', and refusing to pay cash to cover the ceremonies.

* Stuff: Waitangi's Te Tii Marae demands media pay entry fee
* NZ Herald: Cash demanded for Waitangi coverage
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