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media ownership laws in australia

Digital free-to-air broadcasts commenced on 1 January 2001. Even with laws in place Australia has a high concentration of media ownership compared to other western countries. Australian media ownership – and print media in particular – is among the most concentrated in the world. Currently, Australian Law doesn’t allow any one media player to own a radio, TV and print operation. The Council deals with complaints from the public about editorial material in newspapers and magazines published in Australia, and aims to maintain the freedom of the press. However, China and the United States are still eligible. The reforms will keep the requirement for at least five independent media 'voices' in metropolitan commercial radio licence areas (mainland state capital cities), and at least four in regional commercial radio licence areas. The Turnbull Government announced on 1 March 2016 its proposed package of changes to Australia's media ownership laws including, as was widely anticipated, the repeal of the 75% reach rule and "2/3" cross-media ownership rule. The Australian states and territories also have important roles in this area, notably in the area of defamation law, although their laws may not conflict with a valid federal law. As of 2018 these rankings have changed with Australia moving up to 19th, New Zealand moving up to 8th and the United Kingdom falling to 40th. The new rules require foreign persons with an interest of 2.5% or more in certain regulated media assets to disclose details of their interest and have those details recorded in a public register. Varieties include local, regional, state, federal and international sources of media, reporting on Australian news, opinion, policy, issues and culture. Most of Australia's heavily populated cities are serviced by all three networks. [8] Melbourne-based 3EON (now known as 3MMM)[9] was the first to air. The Howard Government was set to remove this law sometime in 2007, having gained parliamentary approval to change the legislation in 2006. Although much of the everyday mainstream news is drawn from the AAP, all the privately owned media outlets still compete with each other for exclusive pop culture news. The Senate has cleared the way for an overhaul of Australia's media ownership rules. [1] Talkback radio was first broadcast with 2UE in Sydney, just after midnight on 17 April 1967. Traditional foreign media ownership laws have been abandoned. By Colin Packham, Jonathan Barrett. The South Australian senator is a staunch anti-gambling crusader and, to secure his senate vote, the new media ownership laws mean there’ll be no gambling advertising during sporting events before 8.30pm (until after the kiddies go to bed). 2K supporters. [16] The search warrant allowed the police to "add, copy, delete or alter" any files they found on the computers. [7] ABC began experimenting with FM stations in the 1960s, but it wasn't until July 1980 that the first FM station commenced full operations. Regulation of the media is principally assured by the Australian Government through its power to make laws governing telecommunications. It may be worthwhile to note, however, that Netflix now combines the US and Canada into its regional subscriber count totals. When asked for a source to support her assertion, a spokesman for Michelle Rowland sent The Conversation a detailed response drawing from a wide range of sources, including the 2012 Finkelstein inquiryinto media and media regulation. But that will cost the free to airs $130 million a year in ad revenues? The bill will scrap rules preventing one company from owning print, radio and television assets in one market, and TV broadcasters from reaching more than 75pc of the population Government passed the bill with help from NXT and One Nation Media companies have welcomed the changes, which they say reflect the industry's changing landscape [5] Netflix remains the market leader, although Foxtel and Stan have gained continual growth since entering the market. That comes down to an estimated 28% of US adults currently subscribing to Netflix. [17], The incidents caused an outcry of condemnation, even from the Reporters Without Borders, BBC and The New York Times. [14] Radio host, Ben Fordham also claimed that he was under investigation for some of his reporting. Although not necessarily a model of success, "unacceptable control" rules are all that prevent Australia's media scene from turning into News Corp's personal mouthpiece. The main provider is Foxtel in both metropolitan, regional and rural areas offering nearly all Australian channels via cable & satellite TV in capital cities, and mostly the same channels are offered by Foxtel via satellite TV (predominantly) in regional areas with the recent merger with Austar in 2012. Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (Foreign Media Ownership, Community Radio and Other Measures) Act 2018 Australian Communications and Media Authority Act 2005 Superseded The conundrum of Netflix In Australia is that it's a highly popular service that contributes little to the domestic economy. These new options have changed the way we consume media in Australia and have intensified competition between media outlets. Category:Mass media companies of Australia, Australian Communications and Media Authority, Regulations on television programming in Australia, Broadcasting Services Amendment (Media Ownership) Bill 2006, Learn how and when to remove this template message, Australian media personalities (Category), Australian Commercial Television Code of Practice, "2018 World Press Freedom Index | Reporters Without Borders", "2020 World Press Freedom Index | Reporters Without Borders", "Australian television history and trivia", "The history of media regulation in Australia", "14.5 million Australians already have Pay TV / Subscription TV as Disney+ enters the market", "Top Sites by Category: Regional/Oceania/Australia/News and Media", Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, "PM defends AFP raid on journalist Annika Smethurst's home", "Ben Fordham targeted after AFP raid journo's home", "Police leave ABC headquarters with files after hours-long raid over special forces stories", "Australia: ABC offices raided by police in connection with 'Afghan Files' series", https://www.sbs.com.au/news/world-media-condemns-australian-federal-police-raids-targeting-journalists, "Australian newspapers redact front pages to protest media curbs", "Why Australia's Front Pages Have Been Blacked Out", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mass_media_in_Australia&oldid=999936685, All Wikipedia articles written in Australian English, Articles that may contain original research from December 2020, All articles that may contain original research, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Media in Australia, Kim Jackson, Parliament of Australia- Parliamentary Library, Media Ownership Regulation in Australia, 2003, This page was last edited on 12 January 2021, at 18:20. In this digital environment, Australia's ownership laws prevent traditional media outlets such as TV, radio and newspapers from structuring their businesses efficiently or achieving the scale necessary to adapt and compete more effectively with newer unregulated services. At the end of 2019 14.5 million Australians had access to some form of Pay TV or Subscription TV, with the combined audience of these platforms equalling almost 70% of the population. To address concerns that changes to media ownership rules could reduce the amount of local content, the reforms will increase the required amount of local content points to 900, for the same period. News Corp, Nine and Seven West Media co-own Australian Associated Press (AAP) which distributes the news and then sells it on to other outlets such as the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. the media landscape was dominated by print newspapers and commercial radio and TV services In addition, an individual will still not be able to control more than one commercial television licence in a licence area or more than two commercial radio licences in the same licence area. Controls over media ownership in Australia are laid down in the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, administered by the ACMA. UBI World TV offers a number of ethnic satellite TV and Radio channels nationwide, and other small companies offer some channels via satellite, especially foreign services or free-to-air channels, and some channels are available over the Internet. The Australian government on Tuesday unveiled plans to significantly change media ownership laws, which could trigger a rush of mergers and acquisitions as ailing news organisations battle to stay afloat in the digital age. The act specifies that the ABC must maintain an “independent national broadcasting service”. Media ownership laws in Australia have always tried to encourage diversity among big commercial players. A previous version of the Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (Media Reform Bill) 2016 (the Bill) was introduced into the 44th Parliament in March 2016. In 2018 the Press Freedom Index ranked Australia 19th out of 180 countries,[1] although by 2020 Australia's ranking had somewhat declined to 26th out of 180 countries.[2]. As of December 2019, 11.9 million Australians (57% of the population) had a Netflix subscription in their household, up 15% on a year before that. Immediately scrap all Turnbull Government plans to weaken or abolish media ownership and concentration laws for Rupert Murdoch. The second abolished the rule that no one could own more than two TV stations and replaced it with one limiting the reach of broadcast licenses … In 2007, with Helen Coonan as communications minister, there were two significant changes. Regional Queensland, Northern New South Wales, Southern New South Wales, Regional Victoria and Tasmania are all subject to local content obligations where broadcasters must produce at least 720 points of local content per six week period (each minute is worth one point, or two points if it is local news). Proposals by foreign companies to invest in the Australian media must be approved by the Federal Treasurer. But print media and their online successors are fundamental to news and information diversity and pluralism in democratic societies. Major players, including newspaper owner Fairfax Media and commercial television broadcasters, have called for the government to scrap the rules saying they are … New South Wales and Victoria were introduced to television in 1956, with the other states and territories following suit up to 1971 (the Northern Territory). Gun laws in Australia are predominantly within the jurisdiction of Australian states and territories, with the importation of guns regulated by the federal government.In the last two decades of the 20th century, following several high-profile killing sprees, the federal government coordinated more restrictive firearms legislation with all state governments. 4 Min Read. 129 of 2006 which allowed for changes to the cross-media and foreign ownership laws with the Broadcasting Services Amendment (Media Ownership) Bill 2006 . The Government is maintaining other diversity rules including the '5/4' rule, the ‘one-to-a-market' rule or the 'two-to-a-market' rule. "Media ownership in Australia" redirects here. For the basic package, only one simultaneous stream is allowed, verses two for the standard package. Nearly all major newspapers are owned either by News Corp Australia (formerly News Limited) or Nine Entertainment Co (formerly Fairfax Media). The Government has announced a series of reforms to Australia’s media laws including most recently the Broadcasting and Content Reform Package. In these markets, broadcasters will be required to provide at least 360 points (minutes) of local content. IN the biggest media shake-up in twenty years, the federal government's overhaul of the media laws was passed in the Senate last October. Rural Press received a takeover offer from John Fairfax Holdings in late 2006, and completed the merger on 8 May 2007.[12]. Ownership of national and the newspapers of each capital city are dominated by two corporations, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, (which was founded in Adelaide but is now based from the United States) and Nine Entertainment– Murdoch-owned titles acco… In mid-2016 the number of Australians with access to some form of Pay TV outstripped those with without. The Bill was re-introduced in the 45th Parliament on 1 September 2016. While the Bill lapsed when Parliament was dissolved prior to the July 2016 federal election the Committee continued is inquiry and released its report on 5 May 2016. According to Reporters Without Borders in 2006, Australia was in 35th position on a list of countries ranked by Press Freedom; well behind New Zealand (19th) and United Kingdom (27th) (but well ahead of the US, ranked 53rd). That inquiry’s report noted that: You can read the full response here. The first change limited media ownership to just one type of media in a given market—print, radio or television. The Senate referred the Bill to the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee for inquiry and report. Even with laws in place Australia has a high concentration of media ownership compared to other western countries. Changes to the anti-siphoning list are not part of this package. Compared to usage in the United States, Netflix in Australia is quite prominent. Ownership of national and the newspapers of each capital city are dominated by two corporations, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, (which was founded in Adelaide but is now based from the United States) and Nine Entertainment – Murdoch-owned titles account for nearly two-thirds (64.2 per cent) of metropolitan circulation[11] and Nine-owned papers account for a further quarter (26.4 per cent).[11]. Since the companies Netflix disrupts in Australia - pay TV provider Foxtel and the free to air TV networks - all face local content requirements, there is speculation a federal government review might recommend something similar for the streaming platform. The media laws below will support the viability of our local organisations as they face increasing global competition in a rapidly changing digital landscape. The ABC’s editorial independence is enshrined in legislation. The HHI is calculated using the sum of the squares of the individual Other providers of Internet television in Australia offer free content or PPV, but don't offer a subscription product. However, the media is regarded as a ‘sensistive sector’ under the Foreign Investment Policy. The new points structure will strengthen the link between local content and local communities. [15], The next day the police raided the ABC over a story about alleged war crimes in Afghanistan. This ranking was primarily due to the restrictions imposed by the recent anti-terrorism laws. There are rules governing foreign ownership of Australian media and these rules were loosened by Helen Coonan under the Howard Government via Act No. 16.&RHardingeSmith,&Media&Ownership&and&Regulation&in&Australia,CENTREFORPOLICYDEVELOPMENT,2011.& & 3. Approximately 25% of Australian households had access to pay television services by the end of 2005. [18], In Australia itself, newspaper outlets normally driven by partisanship and advertising exhibited a surprisingly united show of protest on 21 October as they published front pages with the appearance of documents having been blacked out by government censors. The Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (‘HHI’) is a commonly accepted measure used to measure market concentration. There are several smaller competitors offer a subset of channels – with Fetch TV entering the market in 2010 with a subscription service over a few ADSL2+ networks, and TransACT offering TV via its own VDSL, VDSL2 and FTTP/FTTH networks in Canberra and its Neighbourhood Cable network in parts of Victoria. Analogue broadcasts were originally intended to be phased out by 2008, however analogue phaseout was not achieved until 2013. In fact, the digital age is now defined by the wide range of media voices and perspectives available to consumers. Conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices signaled sympathy on Tuesday toward a bid by President Donald Trump's administration, backed by broadcast … Australia has a modern and diverse media industry spanning traditional and digital formats, and catering mostly to its predominantly English-speaking population. The problem, and the concentration of media ownership, was one of many mentioned on the television show Media Watch, broadcast on the government funded ABC. 5 Denemark, above n 2, 231. An example of such a "shared" regional network is Imparja. While Australians were once able to enjoy 30 days of free Netflix that's no longer the case. [13], On 4 June 2019 the Australian Federal Police conducted a raid on the home of News Corp journalist, Annika Smethurst's home looking for information connected to a story she had written a years earlier about new laws that would give the security forces new powers for surveillance over Australian citizens. The ABC is also prohibited from broadca… more than two of the three regulated forms of media (commercial radio, commercial TV and associated newspapers) in the one commercial radio licence area (the '2 out of 3 rule'). Some rural or regional areas may receive a more limited selection, often with some of the channels available showing programming from more than one of the major networks. The Broadcasting Services Act 1992 sets limits on the control of commercial TV, radio and newspapers. The national daily newspaper of record is The Australian. The Australian media policy omelette cannot simply be unscrambled. A new register of foreign ownership of Australian media assets will shortly be introduced. The demands are, for the ability to contest any search warrant of a journalist or news entity while the search warrant is under request, reform of whistleblower protection, new limitations on which documents may be classified as secret, changes in freedom of information, exemption from national security laws enacted over the previous seven years, and reforms of defamation laws.[20]. The changes relaxed restrictions against cross-media ownership & control by a single company. In addition to the public broadcasters which are available to almost all of Australia's population, there are three major commercial television networks: the Nine Network, the Seven Network and Network Ten. [8], In 2009, there were 274 operational commercial stations (funded by advertising) and 341 community (publicly funded) radio stations.[10]. Under the reforms, the Government will repeal two media control and ownership rules in the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 that currently prevent a person from controlling: In addition, the Government will introduce changes that will protect and enhance the amount of local television content in regional Australia as well as introducing an incentive for local content to be filmed in the local area. Known as the “two out of three” law, it looks likely to be changed when federal parliament resumes this year. The government's proposed changes to media ownership laws are neither future-looking nor future-proofing, writes Associate Professor Tim Dwyer from the Department of Media and Communications. The US has an estimated 60 million Netflix subscribers as of 2020. Consumers who have complaints about programs on television and radio or certain types of content on the Internet can apply to the ACMA. CBS beat a joint bid from Australian media moguls Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon, which prompted the Government to reform existing media ownership laws by way of the Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (Broadcasting Reform) Act 2017 (Cth) (Broadcast Reform Amendments), which repealed key cross-media ownership limitations (discussed in question 5.3 below). There are 2 national and 10 state/territory daily newspapers, 37 regional dailies and 470 other regional and suburban newspapers. Currently, the Government uses a points system to ensure that larger regional communities have access to local content, such as news broadcasts. The Commercial Television Code of Practice is a set of regulatory guidelines, registered with the ACMA, with which commercial television broadcasters should comply. In this environment, protections such as the '2 out of 3 rule' are no longer needed but some protections will still remain. Colour television was introduced in 1975.[3]. A steady trend to fewer owners over the last century is the well-documented pattern. [6], Australia's first regular radio broadcasts began on 13 November 1923 with station 2SB (later to become 2BL) in Sydney. Mass media is delivered in a variety of formats including radio, television, paper, internet and IPTV. Other notable newspapers and news websites are: news.com.au, ABC News Online, The Age, Seven News Online, SBS News Online, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Daily Telegraph, the Herald Sun, Nine News, the Guardian Australia, The Saturday Paper and The Spectator. After heated debate in the early 2000s over a Bill that would have removed the foreign ownership restrictions of broadcasting TV licences, the Australian government chose to retain the foreign-ownership restrictions in its 1992 Broadcasting Act. Also with nationwide circulation is The Australian Financial Review, the most prominent financial newspaper. This was long-awaited, the company being established in the US state of California in 1997. National news radio broadcasters include the Australian Broadcasting Corporation which operates 4 national radio news networks (including ABC News Radio and ABC Radio National), 53 local news stations through ABC Local Radio and several digital radio stations; and the Special Broadcasting Service which also delivers multilingual Australian-produced news content. Subject to the passage of amending legislation, the new media reform measures will commence in 2017. [19] Most of the larger media outlets formed a coalition, Right To Know, to represent the protest and demand six changes in legislation. Australian media wins relaxed ownership laws, but online rivals' threat to stay. To bring our media ownership laws into the digital era, the Government has announced the most significant reforms to Australian media regulation in a generation. Licensees would not be required to meet the new local content obligations until six months following a trigger event, giving them time to prepare for the changes. This website uses cookies, utilised by us and third parties to enhance your experience. In many countries, government ownership equates to government control of the media.In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and Special Broadcasting Corporation (SBS) are both owned by the federal government. The most significant change, the one gaining the most attention and the one the government has been trying to pass for the past decade, was the relaxation of Australia's cross-media ownership laws. The results show that, in 2011, Australia’s content media industry was among the most concentrated in the world, and had been getting steadily more concentrated over time. Australia's media ownership laws were drafted during an analogue era before the internet, when the media landscape was dominated by print newspapers and commercial radio and TV services. Advances in technology now allow digital content from anywhere in the world to be accessed instantly through computers, smartphones or smart TVs. Calculated from circulation figures of metropolitan newspapers quoted in Wikipedia. Updated 14/09/2017 KEY FEATURES OF NEW MEDIA OWNERSHIP LAWS: * Repeal of the reach rule which … These requirements will come into effect following a 'trigger event', or change in control of a regional commercial television licence, that results in it being in a group whose combined licence area populations exceeds 75 per cent of the Australian population. The Australian Press Council is the self-regulatory body of the print media. In addition the reforms will provide a new 'local filming' incentive which will provide three points for every minute of local news that is also filmed in the local area. Government’s media law changes would reduce the diversity of media in Australia, while 82.6 per cent believed the changes would negatively affect 4 Communications Law Centre, Communications Update: Media Ownership Issue, 168 (2005). Resolution differs from SD to HD for the two. Introduction Although Australia's media ownership laws have remained unchanged for over a decade, debate on the desirability of reform has continued unabated. Netflix costs $9.99 AUD for the basic package, and $13.99 for the Standard package. For a listing of media companies in Australia, see. Media ownership has been an agenda topic for the Howard government since it was first elected in For example, in Australia: The cross-media ownership laws brought in by the federal Labor Government in 1987 was the start of modern media change. This debate has been fuelled by the advent of new media technologies, a number of inquiries proposing regulatory changes, and the self-interest of those media organisations that report the controversy. The ABC began broadcasting in 1932. Digital technologies now provide easy access to domestic or international news content through networked devices. Media ownership has been an evolving “hot topic” in Australia as the government grapples with the problem of keeping its cross media ownership laws relevant, in an age where new technologies are blurring traditional media boundaries. Foreign ownership limits were scrapped, government changed the cross-media ownership rules to allow ownership of two out of three media types.[4]. For more information, or to change your cookie settings, This work is licensed under a Creative Commons, Media Release: Modernising Australian media laws, Media Release: Local content safeguards a feature of media reform package, Fact Sheet: Protecting local content in regional Australia, Fact Sheet: Australia's Media Control and Ownership Rules, Map of current local content requirements, Map of proposed local content requirements, commercial television licences that collectively reach in excess of 75 per cent of the Australian population (the '75 per cent audience reach rule'); and. Controls over media ownership in Australia are laid down in the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, administered by the ACMA. Netflix removed the free trial in March 2020. Rowland’s assertion that Australia’s media ownership concentration is among the highest in the world is well sup… The protest demanded journalists gain access to sensitive government material. Government media organisations are those owned by the government. Rural and regional media is dominated by Australian Community Media (formerly Rural Press), with significant holdings in all states and territories. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is the broadcasting regulator for radio and television in Australia, and also the co-regulatory Online Content Scheme. The changes will also introduce obligations on commercial television broadcasters in smaller markets including Darwin, Mildura, Griffith and Broken Hill, as well as markets in South Australia and Western Australia, which are not currently subject to local content obligations. These changes came into effect in 2007 and are still in Force. Netflix was released in Australia and New Zealand 24 March 2015. Read the full response here Regulation & in & Australia, see conundrum of Netflix in Australia always... 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