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

Film industry wants local content requirements for streaming services

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: Online : 18-Sep-19

Australian actors, producers and directors are calling on the federal government to introduce local content requirements for streaming platforms such as Stan and Netflix. Communications Minister Paul Fletcher has previously indicated this was something the government would consider. The screen industry is also calling for existing local content rules for free-to-air and pay television operators to be retained, while the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance notes that the industry generates around $3 billion in economic activity each year.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, MEDIA, ENTERTAINMENT AND ARTS ALLIANCE, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, NETFLIX INCORPORATED

Level the playing field but don’t over-regulate tech

Original article by Paul Smith, John Davidson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: W1 & W3 : 30-Jul-19

Participants at an innovation summit have expressed mixed views regarding the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s report on digital platforms. Former Google Australia MD Maile Carnegie says technology companies should be subject to the same rules regarding data privacy as other sectors. However, Carnegie rejects the suggestion made by media companies that Google is a publisher. Nerida O’Loughlin from the Australian Communications & Media Authority said ACMA does not have the expertise to regulate the algorithms used by big technology companies.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, GOOGLE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA AUTHORITY, WISETECH GLOBAL LIMITED – ASX WTC

Local content move for digital players

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 29 : 29-Jul-19

Communications Minister Paul Fletcher has signalled that streaming video providers may be required to invest in more local content in the wake of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s landmark inquiry into digital platforms. He says there is a strong case for subjecting digital platforms to the same regulations as traditional broadcasters. The ACCC’s final report noted the inconsistencies that are inherent in the current approach to media regulation.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, NETFLIX INCORPORATED, AMAZON.COM INCORPORATED, YOUTUBE INCORPORATED, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA AUTHORITY