Journalists’ union says it will quit ineffectual Australian Press Council

Original article by Amanda Meade
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 22-Apr-21

The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance’s members have voted to withdraw from the Australian Press Council, the self-regulatory body for print media. The journalists’ union will give the requisite four years’ notice to quit the APC, and the MEAA’s Marcus Strom hopes its move will prompt debate about media regulation. The MEAA has called for a simpler system of self-regulation that is consistent across all platforms and organisations. The APC’s adjudications have been widely criticised by journalists and the print media.

CORPORATES
MEDIA, ENTERTAINMENT AND ARTS ALLIANCE, AUSTRALIAN PRESS COUNCIL

ACM gets go-ahead to raise stake in Prime

Original article by Sophie Elsworth
The Australian – Page: 15 : 9-Apr-21

Australian Community Media has been cleared to increase its stake in Seven Network affiliate Prime Media Group to 19.99 per cent. The deal to buy a five per cent stake in Prime from WIN Corporation owner Bruce Gordon had to be cleared by the Australian Communications & Media Authority, as ACM would exceed the 15 per cent threshold that is deemed to be a controlling interest under the Broadcasting Services Act 1992. ACM’s Anthony Catalano says the legislation needs to be updated, as the ‘voices test’ for regional areas does not include digital media. He adds that ACM will have to sell two newspapers in Victoria and New South Wales unless the legislation is changed.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA PTY LTD, PRIME MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX PRT, WIN CORPORATION PTY LTD, SEVEN NETWORK LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA AUTHORITY

Foxtel can halve Australian drama production under new broadcasting bill

Original article by Amanda Meade
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 1-Apr-21

Screen Producers Australia CEO Matthew Deaner has questioned the federal government’s decision to slash Foxtel’s local drama quota in its new broadcasting bill. Foxtel is currently required to allocate 10 per cent of its drama budget to producing Australian content, but the bill will reduce this to five per cent. Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young has accused the government of favouring its "Murdoch mates"; she has also criticised the bill for failing to impose local content quotas on streaming video providers such as Netflix.

CORPORATES
FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, SCREEN PRODUCERS AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, NETFLIX INCORPORATED

Quotas plan for survival of broadcasters

Original article by Richard Ferguson, Geoff Chambers
The Australian – Page: 8 : 27-Nov-20

The federal government will release a green paper on media industry reform on 27 November. Amongst other things, the reforms would introduce local content quotas for subscription video-on-demand providers, as well as the ABC and SBS. TV networks would also be offered a new broadcasting licence that has less regulation, in return for surrendering some of their frequency spectrum. This spectrum would then be auctioned, with the proceeds used for two new funds that will help to finance locally-produced news and drama content.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, SPECIAL BROADCASTING SERVICE (SBS), AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT, REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS

Rudd and Turnbull will be called to give evidence at Senate inquiry into media diversity

Original article by Amanda Meade
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 12-Nov-20

The Senate’s environment and communications references committee will undertake an inquiry into media diversity after the federal government did not oppose the motion. The committee will begin accepting submissions immediately and will report by the end of November 2021. Former prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull are amongst those who will be asked to appear before the inquiry. Rudd organised a petition calling for a royal commission into the market dominance of News Corp.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Reform ‘won’t fix defamation’

Original article by Chris Merritt
The Australian – Page: 19 : 27-Jul-20

Minter Ellison partner Peter Bartlett has questioned whether the proposed new defence for public interest journalism will be effective. It is based on a British provision that requires a journalist to prove that they reasonably believed that the publication of a statement was in the public interest. Bartlett warns that if the new defence is interpreted in the same way as the British defence, it is likely to have a similar impact as the existing defence of statutory qualified privilege, which has not been successfully used by the media. The Council of Attorneys-General will approve a model defamation bill on 27 July.

CORPORATES
MINTER ELLISON, AUSTRALIA. COUNCIL OF ATTORNEY-GENERAL

Tweaking will not protect journalists

Original article by Chris Merritt
The Australian – Page: 24 : 4-Oct-19

Attorney-General Christian Porter is at odds with Law Council president Arthur Moses over a ministerial directive that allows him to veto prosecutions against journalists over reports that may breach secrecy laws. Porter’s ministerial directive also seemingly contradicts one issued by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton in early August, in the wake of the Australian Federal Police’s media raids. Porter’s ministerial directive could potentially enable him to kill off AFP cases against media companies and journalists that have been sanctioned by Dutton.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, LAW COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE

Reforms to level media playing field

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 7 : 4-Oct-19

Traditional and digital media companies will be subject to the same regulatory regime under changes proposed by the federal government. Any reforms arising from the review of the regulatory regime are expected to be implemented in stages, as recommended by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission in the final report of its Digital Platforms Inquiry. Potential reforms could include imposing local content obligation on subscription video-on-demand services and increasing the producer tax offset for TV shows.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, NETFLIX INCORPORATED, AMAZON PRIME VIDEO, DISNEY+

A-G’s media plan misses mark

Original article by Chris Merritt
The Australian – Page: 6 : 2-Oct-19

The effectiveness of the federal government’s proposal to provide new legal protections for journalists continues to be questioned. News Corp Australia executive Campbell Reid contends that providing the attorney-general with ministerial discretion to block legal action against journalists for publishing legitimate news reports will have no effect on the level of scrutiny and investigation into journalists. Law Council of Australia president Arthur Moses and Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance CEO Paul Murphy also contend that the reforms are insufficient.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, LAW COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, MEDIA, ENTERTAINMENT AND ARTS ALLIANCE, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIA. DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES

A-G given veto to safeguard journalists

Original article by Chris Merritt
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 1-Oct-19

News Corp Australia executive Campbell Reid says the federal government’s proposal to provide new legal protections for journalists is insufficient. Attorney-General Christian Porter has issued a ministerial direction to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions which will require it to seek permission from the attorney-general to pursue legal action against journalists if such prosecution is deemed to be in the public interest. Law Council president Arthur Moses has also expressed reservations about the reforms.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, LAW COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIA. DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS