As Simone Murray details in her journal article titled ‘Think Global, Act Global: Corporate Content Streaming and Australian Media Policy’, the debate around media policy within Australia has been dominated around two major issues. They are media ownership reform and the local content provisions of the Australian-United States Free Trade Agreement. In this blog post I want to primarily focus on the debate around Media ownership within Australia.
Media ownership within Australia has become an evolving hot topic for governments over time. This is due to the blurring of the traditional boundaries. (Lee n.d.)
This thought is evident in which Murray quotes a Senator Helen Coonan who states that;
“It used to be that you could quarantine content you got through television or newspapers but now it’s being streamed in all sorts of ways.”
Why is there restrictions in place for media ownership within Australia? Especially when the major media players within this country is made up of just two corporations, Fairfax and News Corp. Considering that these policies had been developed prior to media becoming digitised the media categories included print media, radio and television it was restricted to just those that could afford to produce media for the traditional media categories. Now because of the technological developments around digital media, the barriers have been lowered around entry and productions costs to the point that almost anyone can become a media producer.
So can content now be considered so intertwined between newspapers, television, magazines, the Internet, radio that no one group dominates – or can hope to dominate? Murray states in which I feel has credence and that is media ownership convergence is currently to embryonic to demonstrate conclusively to governments that multi-purposing of digital content benefits the media sector as a whole, or even individual firms.
Lee, L n.d., New Ways to Explore Australian Media Ownership Opportunities and Threats, http://www.optimice.com.au/upload/Media_Ownership_Analysis1.pdf
Murray, S 2005, Think Global, Act Global: Corporate Content Streaming and Australian Media Policy, Media International Australia incorporating Culture and Policy, no.116, pp.100-116