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Simple amendments would save media package

Media Release
Scott Ludlam 18 Mar 2013

One day and two inquiries into examination of the media reform package, the Greens are not ready to throw the Convergence and Finkelstein Reviews into the dustbin.

"We have expressed concerns about the process and content of the media package proposed by the government on a ‘take it or leave it basis', however, parts of it have merit and should proceed," Australian Greens Communications spokesperson Senator Ludlam said today.

"Giving up on the reforms means the bullies have won.

"Australia has the most concentrated media ownership in the western world. It is in the interests of a free media and our democracy to prevent further mergers and acquisitions through establishing a public interest test.

"We have heard a lot of hysteria today, and some rather obvious misreading of the Bills. Contrary to the convenient belief of media barons, the Public Interest Media Advocate simply cannot interfere in what is published in Australian newspapers.

"The Australian Press Council is widely believed to be too weak. Measures proposed in the Bill go some way towards actually supporting the implementation of the standards set.

"Sensible amendments to stop the proliferation of Press Councils and to better define the public interest test to protect Australian content and local news would secure the Greens support," Senator Ludlam concluded.


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