Research Ngā Rangahau

Use of Social Media Content in Broadcasting: Public and Broadcaster Perspectives

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Use of Social Media Content in Broadcasting: Public and Broadcaster Perspectives 

Date published: July 2017

Katrine Evans, Hayman Lawyers
Dr Kathleen Kuehn, Victoria University of Wellington
Colmar Brunton


New Zealanders’ attitudes to their personal social media content and their expectations about how broadcasters can use it, are revealed in new research commissioned by the Broadcasting Standards Authority. The research is the first of its kind to explore whether broadcasters are held to a higher standard by the public when it comes to publishing or republishing social media content.

The research found:

  • While New Zealanders are savvy about social media and understand that it may form part of the internet public highway, they believe broadcasters should observe strict privacy standards when considering using individuals’ social media content.
  • Despite a strong information sharing culture, members of the public do not consider that broadcasters can just take any social media content and use it in the broadcasting context.
  • The public expect their social media content will remain in the context in which they published it, because taking it out of that context can significantly affect its impact and message, and the likely audience.
  • In some cases, the public interest may justify the republication of social media content in broadcasting, eg, emergency situations.
  • Issues of consent and privacy are core concerns that need to be addressed.