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Julian Disney is preparing to depart as chairman of the Australian Press Council after five years in the role. AAP/Lukas Coch

Making media accountable to the public bolsters press freedom

Julian Disney, the outgoing chair of the Australian Press Council, made a singularly powerful argument in his valedictory speech to the National Press Club on Wednesday: that freedom of the press is strengthened…
Former News International executive Rebekah Brooks leaves the Old Bailey after appearing on charges of conspiring to bribe public officials. It was revelations about journalistic practises at News that inspired inquiries in Australia and the UK. EPA/Andy Rain

UK and Australian media reforms are very different beasts

There are at least two points of convergence in this week’s parliamentary deliberations on media freedom in Australia and the UK. Both are driven by reports – Finkelstein and Leveson respectively – responding…
Stephen Conroy’s media reform package has led to cries of media censorship - but do even conservative spruikers really believe this? AAP

From ‘hate media’ to another fine mess: How media reform got derailed

Since the day in November 2011 that Justice Ray Finkelstein and University of Canberra Professor Matthew Ricketson held court in Melbourne, the mainstream media has been hostile to any suggestion of media…
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy’s media reforms have been called an attack on freedom of speech, but is the criticism deserved? AAP/Lukas Coch

Media reform: hysterical attacks on weak Conroy suggestions tell the real story

The ongoing criticism in the major news media of Communication Minister Stephen Conroy’s very soft and watery proposed media reforms is predictable but still breathtaking. Conroy’s proposals go nowhere…
Senator Stephen Conroy did not have a mandate for significant change. AAP/Lukas Coch

Low-key Conroy proposals are media reform lite

Yesterday, communications minister Senator Stephen Conroy finally presented the government response to the Convergence Review and Finkelstein review. It is hard to know how many drafts of this long-awaited…
Stephen Conroy is still to bring media policy to cabinet. AAP/Lukas Coch

The paucity of information overload

It might not be a front line issue, but media policy is a significant election year debate. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy is still committed to bringing a submission to cabinet in coming weeks…
The real significance of a decision forcing Gina Rinehart to pay the court costs of both her children and media outlets is to demonstrate legal independence and the importance of open justice.

Costs of justice: Another episode in the Rinehart dispute

In every parent’s life there comes a time when it’s best to hand over the keys to the kids and treat them as adults. That time comes quicker if they haven’t been wrapped in cotton wool or reminded of inadequacies…
If reports saying Julia Gillard reached a deal on media self-regulation are correct, it’s business as usual for media proprietors. AAP

Fear mongering over free speech taints the truth about media regulation

It seems that Prime Minister Julia Gillard and the gang of seven media bosses have buried their hatchets, reaching a compromise on media regulation. It’s to be business as usual, behind the starched-up…
Trust in the media is at the heart of issues around Gina Rinehart, Fairfax and editorial independence. AAP

Basically, the fight around Fairfax is about who we should trust

Amid indications that Fairfax is going into the corporate death spiral – ongoing disinvestment resulting in smaller market share - we’re asking the wrong questions about the future of the Australian media…
Will Google be subject to Australian media regulation? Stuck in Customs

Meeting the challenge of convergent media policy

It’s been a remarkably busy year for Australian media policy. There have been three major reports released that address the future of media policy and regulation in the context of convergent media: the…
Why should freedom of the press trump the right of academics to have their say? Linda Cronin

A vice-chancellor’s defence of academic freedom

There has been much discussion about the role of free speech and a free press since the publication last week of the report from the independent inquiry into the Australian media. The review was conducted…
Murdoch’s “blind eye” on managerial overcommitment – too many media outlets, too little time – is unsurprising. But we need some tough decisions on the balance between media self-regulation and public oversight. AAP

Murdoch and media regulation: blind eyes and broadcasters

What are we going to do about media regulation? This week saw release of the 81 page report of the Convergence Review, an Australian Government document that deals with broadcast regulation and offers…
The line between traditional and new media has now blurred into indistinguishability. flickr/francescominciotti

Convergence Review: tame cat Press Council gets playmate

It should be easy for the Gillard Government to accept the recommendations of the Convergence Review. On the surface it seems all very sensible: a converged Press Council and Australian Communications…
Seven West Media’s decision to withdraw from the Australian Press Council raises questions about the Australian commercial media’s commitment to corporate social responsibility and best practice. AAP

Self-regulation and a media we can trust?

When the report of the Independent Inquiry into the media and media regulation, aka Finkelstein inquiry, was released some time ago, it was denounced as sinister and – like the Leveson Inquiry in the UK…
A new regulatory body is not what the Australian media or public need. Instagram/sookhean

Finkelstein inquiry too flawed to lead to real reform

The recent Finkelstein inquiry into media regulation in Australia has suggested a new body to govern journalistic standards and handle complaints from the public, the News Media Council. But at a time…
Former Federal court judge Roy Finkelstein (centre) has delivered his media inquiry report. AAP/Dean Lewins

Finkelstein inquiry report cause for ‘cautious optimism’

It was a pleasant surprise that the independent Australian media inquiry, examining print, online and the role of the self-regulatory body, the Australian Press Council, was, for the most part, a satisfying…

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