Media Reforms, Australia won’t win

The regulation of media in Australia is somewhat ambiguous and complex. Lately, we have seen a reform in new media regulation but not everyone is happy. It is of interest to note that no matter which reforms are made, we will always see competing interests and different fundamental values from those involved.

Goldsmith (2013), explains that under the two media reform bills which have just been passed in the House of Representatives, will have a dramatic effect on Australian content, for producers and audiences. With the drop in license fees, free-to-air television will see dramatic savings. Unfortunately the free-to-air networks have been given a quota on certain hours of Australian content broadcast with re-runs included. This could make a significant difference to Australian made content, with the demand for content at a low as networks will continue to play re-runs to meet the quota.

In The Finkelstein Inquiry into media regulation: Experts respond (2012), Wake makes note that she was ‘disappointed that Finkelstein didn’t see the need for government funded journalism’ as the country is particularly biased when it comes to media ownership. All the opinions are from the same place, whereas with ‘more voices and properly funded journalism’ (Wake, 2012), we would see more well rounded journalism.

So with both these issues, Australian content not in high enough demand, and partial journalism, where does that leave us turning for media? We may see a shift in sources to other countries such as the US or England, which has actually become apparent already for example, with television networks broadcasting shows the day after airing in the US. Therefore Australia will see a massive loss of industry jobs and content will be sourced elsewhere.

References:

Overview of the Finkelstein Review on The Conversation, http://theconversation.edu.au/pages/finkelstein

Goldsmith, B 2013, Why new media reforms are bad news for Australian content, The Conversation, accessed 25/03/2013

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