Free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs has warned against further regulation of the media in a new report More news is good news: The case against restricting broadcast journalism, which was submitted as part of the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s public consultation into impartiality and commercial influence in broadcast news.
“ACMA’s discussion paper is a particularly flawed contribution to the debate over the future of journalism, and highly exaggerated matters like the ‘death of journalism’, the proliferation of ‘fake news’ and the nefarious influence of ‘powerful voices in the media’,” said Gideon Rozner, Director of Policy at the Institute of Public Affairs.
“The real threat to the media and journalism, as evidenced by the recent closure of the Australian Associated Press, is that we have a $1.1 billion per year state owned broadcaster that is crowding out an extremely competitive market. If we want a vibrant, diverse news landscape in Australia, we must force the ABC to compete on an even playing field. We cannot have a state-owned media juggernaut undercutting private sector media outlets that are struggling as it is.”
“If ACMA does in fact implement whatever proposals emerge from this inquiry, it will further add to the lopsided regulatory environment and disadvantage commercial broadcasters.”
“Contemplating new regulations is the last thing we want to be doing. This is about empire building, and about self-interested regulators like ACMA and the ACCC that overstate a problem with the conscious or unconscious aim of increasing their own funding, staff and relevance.”
“The government should be making it easier for journalists to do their jobs, like scrapping defamation law and overhauling freedom of information laws.”
“A poll released by the IPA last week found that only 32% of Australians believe the ABC represents the views of ordinary Australians, yet 100% of Australians are forced to fund it,” said Mr Rozner.
For media and comment: Gideon Rozner, Director of Policy, on 0419 193 114, or at [email protected]
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