The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says.
“Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of flux. Radio NZ has had its funding frozen since 2008, TVNZ has said it no longer considers itself a public broadcaster.
“In axing Campbell Live Mediaworks has made a commercial decision. It is not Labour’s place to comment on that. However New Zealand has lost one of its most powerful inquiring voices.
“John Campbell’s insight and empathy made him one of New Zealand’s finest journalists. He has been the voice for those that need it most, and the advocate for the ‘kiwi battler’.
“Campbell’s legacy will be formidable. He has fought for lunches in schools, child poverty awareness, changing the drink-driving laws, and stood alongside the victims of the Christchurch earthquake.
“The Campbell Live team was relentless in the pursuit of informing the public, and most importantly in holding those that needed it to account. Watchdog journalism is vital to our democracy, but when we see Ministers refusing to be interviewed on Radio NZ, and when our investigative current affairs programmes are being scrapped, government accountability in the fourth estate becomes endangered.
“John Campbell and his team will be sorely missed. We thank him for his tenacity, and we thank him for his public service. Campbell Live: It’s been bloody marvellous”, says Clare Curran.