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Wellington – 16/03/10

Save Radio New Zealand Public Meeting

Date: Tuesday, March 16, 2010 Time: 7:30pm - 8:45pm Location: St Johns Hall, Dixon Street, Wellington We are riding high indeed. A very positive and packed meeting was held tonight in Wellington. Huge thanks to all who took the time to attend on a Tuesday night. We know everyone has busy lives, but we also know people are concerned enough about this issue to come forward. Some frank and honest discussion followed speeches from Green Party Broadcasting spokesperson Sue Kedgley, MP for Wellington Central Grant Robertson, Jon Johansson, lecturer in Political Studies at Vic and local film maker Gaylene Preston... Words were also read by Fiona Kidman who could not attend the meeting:
Public radio is a precious part of the cultural dimension of who we are. It dawned centuries after access to literacy, yet in its way it has become freighted with the same kind of significance. For a very modest outlay, and the flick of a switch, citizens have access to the give and take of political debate, to choirs, to drama, to contemporary music, to weather updates, fair or fine, sunny days or storm warnings, to personal histories, and the history of our country in general. All of this is delivered in an apolitical context. I know because I worked in radio for seven years. Those were some of the most hardworking years of my life, yet what we created out of music, words and a few sound effects, was immensely satisfying. We were bound to impartiality, and it was worth our jobs if we strayed from that rule. Of course, politicians may not always think that public radio is impartial, because they get asked questions that may be difficult to answer when they are interviewed. But that is what public broadcasters are paid to do when they interview their subjects, to find answers to the questions of the day. So public radio fulfils our notions about a democracy, a forum where people are free to ask questions and the public's right to be informed is satisfied. This occurs without the influence of advertising and responsibility to sponsors, or the kind of editorial control that this implies. If public radio is stifled by inadequate funding, we have lost something more valuable than mere entertainment, we have lost the right, at any hour of the day or night, to know. Fiona Kidman
The commitment is strong to carry on. After processing the key ideas and messages from tonight we will be in touch. Exciting times! Thanks again. Read the full text of Sue Kedgley's speech at the meeting
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