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What Kiwis say about payments and media

6 May 12

Credit: candobetter.net
What Kiwis say about payments and media
Why most Kiwis want their media stars to be up front when receiving payments

Here is what New Zealander say, when interviewed by HorizonPoll, on the issue of media employees accepting payments from non-media organisations.

 

These are comments made when respondents were asked:

 

To which of the following should members of the media declare any payments they receive from non-media organisations?

 
   
 

Please select those you think should apply

 
   
 


Results for 2544 people who answered this question

A.

All their media employers

 

65.2%

B.

Their media audiences

 

39.7%

C.

The public

 

52.4%

D.

None of these

 

9%

E.

Comment

 

6.1%

Comments included:

 

  • They should be open to criminal prosecution if they are attempting to influence their audience on behalf of a party of which that audience is ignorant.
  • "Personalities should be able to make as much as they can, when they can, it may not last long.
  • a good incentive to either not report any 'unhelpful' incidents, or colour any reports which might be submitted to take any criticisms away from the casino
  • A lot of people listen to these media personalities and it's too much of a conflict of interest.
  • a payment or gift should be declared for tax purposes as per everyone else
  • I don't mind "media personalities" using their profile to earn outside income, provided everyone knows. NZ has too small a pool of capable people. Audience members are silly to trust a "media personality" to always speak in their media role - people shouldn't trust such personalities in the first place.
  • Absolutely everyone: Employer, public
  • Absolutely! It never occurred to me that members of the media would get payments from non-media organisations. So definitely wide declaration and preferably ban this practice outright, with instant dismissal as a consequence.
  • after all their working to help promote the product /
  • all of the above
  • All acceptable as long as declared
  • All members of the media must be able to be objective at all times. This is not possible if they are in the pay of various organisations, and in my opinion is highly unethical. In my own organisation i would face instant dismissal if I were to take money or gifts from outside organisations. In fact I have just read and signed our ethical behaviour document this week. We are required to read and sign this annually.
  • All payments should be public knowledge so nothing underhand is happening
  • Also the IRD - payments in kind are taxable
  • Also the public if they are funded by taxpayers
  • Any conflict of interest which could affect neutrality of the media should be declared openly.
  • Any conflict of interests ought to be notified to all potentially involved parties, including the public when it is affected.
  • any considerations should be declared - whether media is print, radio, TV or net
  • Any payments of this kind should be totally 'up-front'. If they do not wish to disclose - what are they hiding?
  • As it stands this question is wide open - payments from trade-me auctions?? However, the intent is whether media should be (or seen to be) in the pocket of opinion-shifting groups. The obvious first answer is no and the situation where it can't be avoided is that it should be declared quite publicly. This should include media people who write travel articles after being paid to travel to a place (but of course that happens all the time)
  • As long as it does not conflict with their positions or the organisation they work for i don't see a problem
  • As long as the payment is disclosed I don't have a problem. It is just another form of sponsorship, just like sportsmen.
  • As long as the public are aware of their PR work and who they do it for, fine.
  • as long as there is no conflict of interest ,ok
  • As long as there is no obvious conflict of interest with their area of journalism and their employers are aware of their affiliations. NZ is a small place to make a living in.
  • as long as they pay tax
  • as they need to be impartial, no payments or gifts should be received
  • backhanders + bribes + hospitality = corruption
  • Because I answered no to the above question this question is not relevant
  • Because of their place in society and how the news works they need to be transparent. Look at what has happened in England
  • Because the media influence opinion, they should be made to declare interests so that the public are aware of their bias and can weigh the validity of reporting against that.
  • Being in the media is a position of trust, this makes them accountable to the public whom they serve and whose interests they should protect.
  • Benefits should be taxed the same as fringe benefits but paid by the recipient
  • but they shouldn't accept any payments from non-media companies that might be seen as a conflict of interest
  • By accepting monies from the Casino, this can only mean that they will promote or speak favourably of the Casino. This means that they cannot be objective in their reporting of any issues as they would be speaking against their employers. It is really a form of bribery on the part of the Casinos to offer such incentives...
  • Cash beats objectivity every time
  • Conflicts of interest need to be known about and addressed.
  • credibility is destroyed by the acceptance of payments or kind
  • Declaration should be made if there is a conflict of interest, otherwise it isn't anyone else’s business is it?
  • Declaration to avoid conflicts of interest
  • depend is the "work" they are doing relates to their current employment position
  • depends if there is a conflict of interest
  • Depends if they are ALSO promoting the organisation through their media job
  • Depends on what they are being paid for. If it is non-media related work then no need to disclose.
  • Disgusting! They are on enough 'perks' with massive salaries from tvnz
  • do not understand the question
  • dont know
  • Don't look a gift-horse in the mouth!
  • especially if it is tax payer funded
  • Even though they are not advisors they should declare 'interests' like financial advisors.
  • Every person on this planet is worthy of getting paid for work that they do!
  • extra payments for info or other benefits should be illegal.
  • Full disclosure - no other way
  • Getting Payments should be illegal, as long as the situation is very clear and the person paid does not pretend to an objectivity they cannot have.
  • Greed plays a large part in what they do
  • have the Herald on Sunday even got their facts correct
  • Hiding this information suggests that they are ashamed of the connection while taking the dosh. I have a strong sense of repugnance when this crops up. The people know that they could be seen to be taking tainted money and it would be easy to think that they feel untouchable because of their public profile. I would be more impressed if they told of the offer and their refusal as the offer was on top of their usual income and that this was not a good look as it was more than the average family income.
  • How can one have any confidence in a member of the media if their connections are unknown?
  • how can they be unbiased and report fairly on a story if they are receiving favours
  • How can we be sure of unbiased, fact based reporting when these people have a clear conflict of interest?
  • How is this different to sports people receiving sponsorship from non-sporting organisations?
  • How many incomes should well paid workers be able to receive????
  • I am a nurse. I have to declare all alternate sources of income. I see the purpose of this and respect it. The same integrity should apply to media spokespersons. Open and transparent.
  • I am astounded that such payment are made to TVNZ employees
  • I am not sure of this?
  • I could care less if media personalities make deals with any company or organisation- it is their reputation they put on the line...
  • i do not believe in buying support, it is disgraceful
  • I don't believe anything these idiots say anyway.
  • I don't believe it's as black and white as being allowed to accept payments or not. Everyone can have second jobs but it's the lack of disclosure/openness and how these payments could affect their primary job that is of concern.
  • I don't believe that there have been payments to various Media Personnel and would want definite proof of this before making an accurate answer!
  • I don’t see it being any different from professional rugby players. The NZRU know which players are being sponsored by whom.
  • I have no problem any media persons doing legitimate work and being reimbursed, however at any time there is any potential conflict of interest this should be declared upfront to anyone this may affect, public, employer or otherwise.
  • I Hope they declare their earnings in their tax!!!
  • I think politicians should be more transparent also
  • I think that if they are being a representative for the company that it is ok but the info needs to be available if required
  • I think that members of the media should maintain integrity by divorcing themselves from contentious issues. They are paid to fairly inform the general public and I fail to see that this can be done if they are generating income from some avenues.
  • I think this is an awful revelation
  • I work for an industry where disclosure is the name of the game. if you are in a position of influence you should declare conflicts such as these and step down from any decisions being made - Mike should have done the same to maintain his credibility
  • I would think that there would be contract arrangements that would allow payments from other organisations
  • If applicable report it in annual reports of the organisations they work for, similar to having to declare share interests by directors and staff. If all private, and they are getting paid for work they are doing, why should they have to declare it.
  • If appropriate the employer must disclose these connections
  • If however, the media outlet is funded by public funds, then the declaration should be made to the public as well.
  • If I have to declare that I do part-time work to my employer then so should they.
  • If it is in conflict with their role then no payment should be paid. if it is someone from Shortland street or something trivial then it doesn't matter
  • If members of the media expect the public to trust them, and have faith in the work they do, they must not only be above reproach, and they must be seen to be above reproach. Otherwise their credibility will suffer.
  • If the media is to be credible, they have to be above suspicion.
  • If their media employers ask for such information as part of their employment contract then yes. Otherwise, no.
  • If there is a conflict of interest. News people, definitely as it could skew the news.
  • if there is nothing wrong/unethical about it then they shouldn't be bothered about being transparent in their dealings
  • If there's nothing untoward about this, then what's the issue in not reporting monies earned. Media presenters should declared vested interests to relevant parties
  • If they are being paid by a "non-employer" then they should declare what they receive
  • IF they are being paid for legitimate employment then it is no one else’s business
  • if they are paid by the public then they should declare everything
  • if they are paid for services the tax man is the only one they should have to inform it is no one's else’s business
  • If they are receiving payments, they would naturally not give a fair view of that company - they would favour it.
  • If they are WORKING for the payments then why is it any of the public’s business? I would have a different opinion if they were free hand-outs
  • if they don't get them they do not need to report to anyone
  • If they receive other payments they can be seen as a Conflict of Interests
  • If they talk about it, their interest should be declared beforehand.
  • If they're not accepting payments in the first place then there is no need to declare them!
  • If you're going to receive some cash, fine; best to declare it and move on.
  • I'm a bit concerned about addiction for them and how it could affect their families.
  • I'm fed up with the obvious side taking of some of our TV commentators, they are rude and one particularly won't allow an answer to be given before he fires another question. Just plain RUDE and BIASED!
  • Increasingly we rely on media information delivered by these sorts of people as part of the fourth estate's role in our democracy. The less formal presentation of information mean that any contamination of their independence needs to be well publicised.
  • Information disseminated is likely to have bias.
  • Inland Revenue
  • Inland Revenue Department
  • Integrity and credibility comes with truth and honesty
  • IRD
  • IRD of course
  • it could be corruption
  • it depends on what the payment is for
  • It is all about independence of views/advice
  • It is important that media members keep their integrity intact and both free of influence and corruption, and SEEN to be free of influence and corruption.
  • It is not about the cash- it is about integrity. We rely on media figures to deliver impartial news- if a negative story breaks about a company they are being paid to endorse- they are potentially compromised
  • It needs to be transparent esp relating to their reporting of related issues
  • It removes the implied bias
  • It should be entirely transparent to all
  • It would depend on the contract they have with their employer
  • It’s about transparency
  • It's between them and IRD
  • It’s in the interests of their employers to maintain independence
  • It's like backhanders for supporting unpopular policies
  • It’s like the old fashioned days when pop stars would pay the radio stations to play their hits.
  • It’s no different from civil servants and others being bound by rules not to accept gifts, OR to seek employer approval for secondary jobs. Conflict of interests issues abound.
  • It’s nobody’s business how they earn an income.
  • it’s their business
  • It's their personal business no one else’s
  • just so that everyone knows where everyone is coming from
  • keep it all above board
  • keep it clean
  • Let’s see it all above board
  • Many companies have clauses in their employment contracts prohibiting employees from accepting benefits from other parties in any way related to their work
  • Maybe not the amount but definitely who is paying them
  • media bias is a huge social problem and everything possible should be done to combat it
  • Media commentators & reporters must declare all income
  • Media members can slant news reporting to an area where they have a vested interest, which the public are not aware of.
  • Media needs to keep itself above reproach and members of the media should automatically refuse anything that is likely to cause them to be less than objective or which could feasibly be seen as such.
  • Media should hold same standards of transparency they expect of other people in public office.
  • Media should not accept such payments
  • Members of the media have a lot of influence. If they are receiving "Perks" we should know who from as it will have a huge effect on how they report on the companies supplying the "perks". If they want to have any credibility they need to start being honest. When the boot is on the other foot and they suspect anyone else is being a bit sly they are unscrupulous. Then the media wonder why there is distrust.
  • Mike Hoskins has denied the information your paper printed.
  • My answers mean TRANSPARENCY!
  • Need to think about it themselves from ethics point of view
  • Not Sure
  • Not sure I believe in honesty and yet it is up to organisations and individuals to be honest in all their dealings. Personally I believe many people in the public eye are well enough pay they shouldn't accept perks or additional funding just for having a public figure.
  • not sure they do honesty
  • Often media presenters are mouths who follow producer’s instructions. If a media person is putting forward a certain stance then it would be honourable for them to declare any financial inducements that are receiving.
  • Only disclose if there is a potential for conflicts that could bias any impartiality
  • Only the employer needs to know - so they can guard against conflict of interest. But the public don't need to know their private arrangements.
  • Only the tax office should be aware of their income - it is nobody else’s business
  • Partiality should be made prominent.
  • pay tax, it's no-one else’s business
  • payoffs lead to corruption
  • People have a right to know when media commentators have a vested interest in a viewpoint
  • Personally I find this obsession with the financial affairs of higher paid people obnoxious. It not only violates long held principles of privacy and good manners, but encourages even further the appalling victim/grievance mentality plaguing our country.
  • pretty well standard practice really
  • Private deals, not directly connected to their work but gained because of their work, should always be made known to their employer in a good relationship
  • Provided they are genuinely freelance, and not subject to any restraining conditions in any contracts, their financial arrangements are private.
  • Re above question, depends on their role in the media
  • Religious groups, sporting groups i.e. racing, gambling...
  • Repeat before every time they mention the benefit
  • Sadly the media do not tend to portray the whole story - NZ media is full of sensationalism. Declaring what they have does not necessarily mean that they will provide better coverage.
  • Secrets bring about corruption and inequality
  • shades of the uk media trouble
  • should also be declared for tax purposes
  • Should apply to media who can influence public opinion
  • Should be part of ird declaration.
  • Should be taxed!
  • Should publicly declare significant contractual arrangements, esp if they deal in current affairs/news
  • Shouldn't be getting any payments to begin with
  • similar to political commentators- they must declare their interest in a subject they are talking about
  • Simply; accepting "gratuities" implies partiality. To wit; members of the media declaring their payments allows the public to be somewhat more circumspect or cautious about what the media spokesperson is saying; knowing there is self-interest involved. The same should apply to celebrities and politicians.
  • Since some/many of them have commercialised/abused their profession/trade, a tight supervision/control on their tax/income is very necessary.
  • So there is no conflict of interest
  • Sounds like graft and corruption to me
  • Such information should be disclosed on the websites of any media organisations where they work.
  • sufficient to explain to their audiences and their employers that what they say might not be impartial
  • Surely it depends on their contract with their employer
  • Surely people can have private arrangements for whatever they wish
  • Surely sponsorship and perks are how these people generate their income and as long as their employers are happy and they pay any tax required on these incomes and benefits what’s the issue?
  • Surely would indicate potential conflict of interest, or payment for good stories?
  • tax department
  • Tax Dept.
  • TAX MAN!!
  • thank you for highlighting this issue - those media rats should declare
  • That's up to the employer surely?
  • The amount may not be important bur their statements are no longer their own views and need to be declared as promotional comments
  • The difference between actual news and adverts need to be very transparent: if it is not clear then it can be construed as misinformation and maybe attract complaints from the broadcasting commission.
  • The government in the form or the IRD need to know if it is cash and their employer(s) need to know because of the job they are doing.
  • The govt should know for tax purposes otherwise it's their own business
  • The Inland Revenue Department
  • The Inland Revenue is the only "other " that needs to know
  • The IRD
  • The IRD more importantly its' no one else’s business really
  • The IRD, they can get paid any amount as long as disclose it.
  • The media collects payment from companies in advertising anyway.
  • The media have privileges of many kinds to enable independent pursuit of issues of public importance. Part of the price they pay for those is that they cannot act entirely as private persons might otherwise.
  • The media is supposed to be independent...if they receive any favours/sponsorship from any organisation/person it should be declared.
  • The Press Association if there is such a body?
  • The public answerability should be via a media organisation (such as the Press Council or Broadcasting Standards Authority).
  • The public has the right to know who is paying their "news" presenters.
  • The public should be aware of conflicting interests.
  • The public should be informed of any financial interest the media personality has (particularly if they are a reporter) as this could influence and/or bias the way a story is presented.
  • The public should know who 'pays the piper' and if the host can be seen to be non-bias
  • the same rules that apply to Richie McCaw or Dan Carter should apply to media "celebrities"
  • The Tax Department for tax purposes
  • Their bias will be obvious
  • their media employers can then decide if the public need to know
  • Then we'll know how much we can trust what they say.
  • There is a great need for transparency to help stem corruption.
  • There should be a public register for declarations of such gifts/payments.
  • There's a clear potential for conflict of interest in their treatment of these organisations
  • These are alternatives are very blunt instruments. There could be some leeway for minor benefits, but not payments.
  • These are high profile people that are entertaining all the time as long as they are using it properly and sharing it around then I have no issue
  • These guys would be biased in any opinions they have with sky city reporting.
  • These payment need to be widely known so we understand where biases my come into play
  • These payments potentially bias the members of media toward the non-media organisation
  • They also shouldn't cover any stories relating to any industry they receive payments from.
  • They are (and they've put themselves there) in the public eye. They are parasites for public adulation and therefore they must also "pay the price" i.e. we should know what they get paid and all that goes with it.
  • They are in fact lobbyists whether they like it or not. For the previous question, when I ticked "Not Sure" I inferred that it was the media members problem or dilemma
  • they are meant to be impartial
  • They are on the payroll, the public need to know this when opinions are expressed by them.
  • They get more money than most people and the casino just want them for advertising through their media connections and it's the same as having another paying "job" so shouldn't secondary tax kick in just like anyone else getting money over and above their wage or salary.
  • They must declare these payments to allow us the public to make judgement on any potential conflicts of interest
  • They need to declare it so their employers can decide if there is a conflict of interest
  • They need to tell IRD so they pay secondary tax on it
  • they should be transparent
  • They should be transparently honest
  • They should declare everything!
  • They should declare payments from all sources
  • They should declare to media audience if reporting or commenting on the organisation they receive payments or perks from.
  • they should have to declare this as part of their income to IRD
  • they should not accept any payments form non-media
  • They should not have to declare it to anyone if they show some integrity and say no.
  • They should reject any offers or direct them to charities and make known to audiences, employers and the public who made the offer and all relevant details so as to protect their own personal integrity.
  • They should then decide any further action.
  • They shouldn't be allowed to do this
  • They shouldn't take payments in the first place.
  • This all smacks of the John Laws scandal in Australia
  • This corruption/prostitution
  • This could indicate a bias when reporting!!
  • this double dipping led to MURDOCH FIASCO in England
  • This info should be accessible for the public so that they can gauge if the media coverage is objective.
  • This is an Employment Contract issue; and will reflect the integrity of the employer as well as the employee.
  • To all readers / listeners / viewers of their media coverage, to provide potential details of bias
  • To avoid conflict of interest. Media need to show impartiality
  • to not declare payments is corruption
  • Transparency is the corner stone of a democratic society
  • Transparency of interests is essential to confidence in impartial media.
  • Unless there is we conflict of interest.
  • Unlike an advertisement where you see the association of the personality with the product or service knowing that they get paid, these "appearance" payments need to be publically disclosed.
  • WE are expected to believe the programmes they are fronting so they should be above reproach.
  • we must be told of possible bias
  • we need to know the whole truth so we can decide to believe them or not
  • We need to know to expect some bias.
  • What company does not offer perks to these people. It happens all over the world and always has. Should movie stars get the huge massive payments that they get?
  • What does it really have to do with us? I wish I could get perks like that.
  • What is needed is open, transparent best-practice
  • what they earn in their own time is there business
  • when it is relevant to the topics they are discussing (or not discussing)
  • Why should the advise anyone except the IRD. They are providing their services to a company and being compensated accordingly.
  • Why should they get benefits from other media? Emplyees don’t get fringe benefits for doing what they meant to do its wrong.
  • With dishonesty at the top we are doomed.
  • Would it be different if a tyre company was promoting them
  • You should always notify you employer of tasks or jobs etc... That you do outside of work hours - they might be concerned about, or that might adversely affect their business in any way.