media pluralism in australia – lessons from ‘down under’

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Dr Sally Young Associate Professor and Reader, School of Social and Political Sciences, The University of Melbourne For an international audience, Australia is a case-study of what can go wrong in media policy-making and why media ownership concentration – including in the newspaper industry - still matters despite the rise of the internet and online news outlets. more info:


  • 1. Media Pluralism in Australia Lessons from Down UnderDr Sally YoungAssociate Professor and Reader,School of Social and Political Sciences,The University of

2. Australia Population of 22.5 million 18th largest economy in the world 6th largest country in the world Ranks 2nd (behind Norway) on theUnited Nations Human DevelopmentIndex Culturally diverse Economically strong 3. AustraliaIf you want to know more about AFL football, YouTube AFL explained 4. Australian politics One of the few countries to havecontinuously been a democracy sincethe early 1900s. Compulsory voting (attendance) High registered voter turn-out (94%) Federal, state and local governments House of Representatives and a Senate 5. Australian politics II Voting method = the alternative vote for theHoR and PR for the Senate 1) Australian Labor Partyv2) Liberaland Nationalparties(Coalition) 6. Australian politics III First female Prime Minister (Julia Gillard,ALP) in 2010(-2013) Current conservative government andPrime Minister isTony Abbott 7. Australian media 2 major newspaper owners News Corporation Australia & Fairfax Media Public broadcaster ABC 3 free-to-air commercial TV broadcasters (7, 9 & 10) Monopoly pay TV provider (Foxtel) Commercial, community and local radio Online existing companies plus new 8. Year Media policy event1927 Royal Commission on Wireless.1932 Establishment of the ABC.1953-54 Royal Commission on Television.1955 Granting of first television licences by the Menzies government.1976 Establishment of the Australian Press Council.1986-87 Cross media ownership laws (the Hawke-Keating government).1992 Broadcasting Services Act 1992 liberalises regulation.1993-95 First pay TV (subscription) licenses granted.1999-2000 Existing free-to-air TV channels provided with free digital spectrum.2005-06 Howard government repeal of cross-media and foreign ownershiprestrictions2009 Rudd government revised policy for a National Broadband Network.2012 Independent Inquiry into the Media and Media Regulation (Finkelsteininquiry). 9. 1975reportingof presscouncilproposal 10. Factors Media mates thesis Lack of public interest/knowledge aboutmedia policies Lack of journalistic scrutiny Impaired public debate Vicious cycle of media concentration 11. Examples of political impact 1972 election 1975 election Iraq and 2004 election Climate change, immigration and industrialrelations Labor government 2007-2013 2013 election 12. 2012reporting ofmediaaccountability(Finkelstein)inquiry 13. The 2013 federal election 14. Day 1 of theelectioncampaign 4August 2013. 15. The day afterAbbottselection victory- The SundayMail, 8September2013