Articles on Media law

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Michelle Guthrie in 2018: the former ABC managing director made greater staff diversity a top priority. But her final Equity and Diversity annual report failed to meet several long-held targets. Joel Carrett/AAP

Friday essay: diversity in the media is vital - but Australia has a long way to go

As we face a growing tide of unregulated hate speech, the media is crucial in normalising diversity. Yet progress here has been slow. Even the ABC has failed to meet some of its own targets for hiring a diversity of employees.
Australian federal police entering the Australian Broadcast Company headquarters on June 5, 2019. A.B.C. screenshot from videotape

Investigating the investigative reporters: Bad news from Down Under

An American media scholar studying in Australia looks at the protections offered by the two countries for investigative reporting, raising crucial questions about journalism's role in democracy.
Today on Media Files we look at the suppression order that prevented the Australian media reporting the Pell case - and why rushing to judge-only criminal trials may be a mistake. AAP/PAUL TYQUIN

PODCAST: Pell trial reporters, a judge and a media lawyer on why the suppression order debate is far from over

Pell trial reporters, a judge and a media lawyer on why the suppression order debate is far from over. The Conversation, CC BY79.9 MB (download)
On the day George Pell was sentenced, several experts with wide-ranging experiences of suppression orders discussed how they affect the public’s right to know and whether the laws should be reformed.
ACCC Chair Rod Sims released the preliminary report of the Digital Platforms Inquiry into Google, Facebook and Australian media on December 10 2018. Peter Rae/AAP

ACCC wants to curb digital platform power – but enforcement is tricky

The ACCC would like closer scrutiny of digital platforms such as Facebook and Google – in particular with regards to user privacy, market power and operational algorithms.
Giving a reference is protected, in defamation law, by the common-law defence of qualified privilege. shutterstock

Can you sue someone for giving you a bad reference?

In many cases, a reference will contain negative things about its subject. This is part of a reference’s design: the referee should give a full and frank assessment.
The 60 Minutes employees Tara Brown and Stephen Rice arriving home from a Beirut prison. Dean Lewins/AAP

The scandal of 60 Minutes: no broadcasting standards, no investigation

When Channel Nine was implicated in an illegal ‘child recovery’ operation, many would have assumed the media regulator would investigate. Yet Australian broadcasting standards are so limited there will probably be no independent inquiry at all.
Indonesian media moguls have argued that the internet means cross-media ownership laws that prevent common ownership of radio, television and newspapers are obsolete. shutterstock

Australia can learn from Indonesia’s experience before relaxing its media laws

Indonesia’s media landscape may be a model which Australia is emulating as it looks to change media ownership laws. There are positives to this, but also causes for concern.
Joe Hockey’s successful defamation case against Fairfax Media raises questions about the extent to which politicians should be able to sue in relation to publications about their public conduct. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

Hockey v Fairfax should start the debate on defamation law reform

Hockey v Fairfax illustrates that recent legal and technological developments still pose challenges for defamation law, which has not been reformed to keep pace with these changes.

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