The argument about Federal media legislation is clear and brief.
[a] The government does not control the work of journalists.
[b] The government does control the work of journalists.
In the case of [b] Australia would be a dictatorship.
This is an excerpt of the short media release yesterday by the Minister for Communications, Stephen Conroy (pictured), apparently the only document, to date, upon which the current storm of protest can be based.
The Federal Government’s objective is (my bolding):-
[To introduce] a press standards model which ensures strong self-regulation of the print and online news media.
The introduction of a Public Interest Test to ensure diversity considerations are taken into account for nationally significant media mergers and acquisitions.
Reforms [that] will ensure for the Australian public a media sector that is fair, diverse, and able to tackle the challenges of the future.
A press standards model which ensures strong self-regulation by print and online media organisations.
In consultation with the Opposition, the Government will appoint a Public Interest Media Advocate [which will] authorise the independent self-regulatory body or bodies for dealing with news media standards and complaints.
The reforms announced today are about ensuring for the Australian public a media sector that is fair, diverse, and able to tackle the challenges of the future.
The Federal Government wants to take over the functions only you, the reader and voter, deserve to have.
Over to you.
ERWIN CHLANDA, Editor, Alice Springs News