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Dollar votes?

By Steven | August 15, 2008

Russell Brown is pointing out that TV3’s election website is flogging profile pages to candidates at $299 a pop.

There’s no indication on the profile pages themselves that the MPs have to pay for them (though there is a “purchase page” tab on the main page that might clue readers in).

They’re also charging $399 for a favourable mention in Duncan Garner’s blog and $999 for party leaders to select their own soundbites in news stories. No, I made that up. Maybe next election.

The Press Council has upheld complaints against similar practices by newspapers, saying it:

breaches the traditional ethic of journalism to maintain a separation between the editorial side of a newspaper publication and the business side.

However, you can’t complain about a broadcaster’s website to the Press Council. Nor can you complain to the Broadcasting Standards Authority about broadcasters’ websites, even about the content of downloadable video (though you can complain about any content that’s actually broadcast, if you meet the complaint deadline).

It’s a bit of a gap in our regulatory framework.

Topics: Electoral speech, Media ethics | No Comments »


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