Chapter 6
The international perspective


6.70Over the period of our review, Australia and the United Kingdom have been engaged in intense debate about the enforcement of media standards. We have found the debate and conclusions of the overseas reviews enlightening and helpful, although our own particular media culture and history, press freedoms, market context and progress towards convergence means that we must identify the optimal framework for upholding media standards in New Zealand.

6.71Overall, while our preference is for an independent converged regulator that covers the print, broadcast and online platforms, our preferred model is one that incentivises voluntary membership of a news standards body, rather than a model that incorporates an element of compulsion.435  However we face the same conundrum that Lord Justice Leveson acknowledged: to be effective, a new system must include the major media outlets. Therefore the membership incentives must be strong enough to ensure that the key participants will be covered.

6.72Our preferred model is one that does not involve legislation to establish the standards body, but only to recognise it once it is set up, by conferring legal privileges on its members. In the next chapter we outline our conclusions and preferred model for a New Zealand news standards body.

435This aligns largely with Lara Fielden’s proposed tier 2: Regulating for Trust in Journalism, above n 348, at 122–124.