Structure and People
We are ordinary Kiwis standing up for something we believe in. We come from all walks of life – rural, urban, young, old, left, right or somewhere in between. And we share a common belief - that public broadcasting and media are precious taonga that belong to all of us, that benefit all of us and in which we can trust.
The Better Public Media Trust (BPM) is a charitable trust with grassroots Membership, Board of Trustees and a Director who carries out day-to-day activities. The Trust is non-profit and entirely self-funded through membership subscriptions and donations.
Members pay a small annual subscription. The BPM relies on its Members to choose what priorities to focus on, spread the word about 'public media' and elect Trustees.
The BPM has networks with organisations around NZ and the world. The quality of public service media is of concern to many groups including aged welfare, community groups, corporate watchdogs, human rights and civil liberties. Linked together we are stronger and more effective.
The BPM is governed by its Board of Trustees who support the Director. The Trustees are accountable to the Members and elections are held each year at the AGM for half the positions on the Board.
Dr Peter Thompson - Chair
Peter is a senior lecturer on the media studies programme at Victoria University of Wellington where his principal research interest is political economy and media policy. He has published extensively on public broadcasting issues in New Zealand and he is a strong advocate of public service values.
Peter's work includes international studies of broadcasting funding systems and quality measures commissioned by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and NZ On Air respectively. He also chaired the working party that reviewed public submissions on the (now-repealed) TVNZ Charter as part of its 5-year review, and has provided policy advice to a range of stakeholders in the broadcasting sector.
Chris Cooper – Vice Chair and Trustee
Chris was a child actor and performer in London before arriving in NZ and becoming a producer and director of entertainment programmes. He was part of the TVNZ Entertainment Department during the days of Radio Times and the Billy T James Show, where he produced ballets, variety shows, talent shows and telethons. Steeped in the concept of public interest broadcasting from infancy, he is still passionate about the need in a democracy for free-to-air, non-commercial broadcasting.
Chris is a published author and has an event management company. Chris was part of the Save TVNZ 7 team, the highlight being presenting the petition to Parliament and seeing MPs from nearly all the parties endorsing the reintroduction of a similar channel.
David Jacobs – Treasurer and Trustee
David has spent most of his working life making and facilitating films on sustainability issues. His documentaries have been broadcast in over 100 countries. Before he came to live in New Zealand in 1992 he was Programme Executive of the international Television Trust for the Environment (TVE). In the 1990s he was Director of Small World Television, a channel for Telecom New Zealand’s trial cable television service.
David is now Director of the Connected Media Trust and The Outlook for Someday sustainability film project for young people.
Geoff Lealand - Trustee
Born and educated in Taranaki, Geoff teaches in Screen and Media Studies at the University of Waikato. His research in the past has included considerable research on children and their media use, and he is currently leading research into the use of New Zealand screen content in schools.
He is a regular contributor to the media (commentaries, film reviews) and his website Cinemas of New Zealand can be found at www.cinemasofnz.info.
Professor Ursula Cheer - Trustee
Ursula graduated with Honours from the University of Canterbury. In New Zealand, she has worked in private practice, and as a speech writer to the Minister of Justice, and a legal advisor to the Prime Minister.
In the United Kingdom she worked as a Legal Advisor to the Lord Chancellor in the Law Commission. Ursula is a Professor specialising in media law at the University of Canterbury and is also Dean of the School of Law. She publishes widely in the areas of defamation and privacy and aspects of media law.
Jym Clark - Trustee
Born two years before the breakup of the Broadcasting Corporation of New Zealand, Jym has grown up in the digital age. Trained as an urban planner, Jym is passionate about public media, partly because he believes better public debate about urban issues will lead to better urban outcomes!
Jym worked on the successful campaign to keep MMP in 2011, and is currently living and working in Toronto, Canada.
Myles Thomas – Director
Myles is a television producer and director of various forms of 'factual' programming - news to 'reality' and has worked in the screen industry since he was 17.
In 2012 he established the Save TVNZ 7 campaign which gathered over 36,000 signatures to petition Parliament.
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