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Decoding the Convergence Review

There are acres of op-eds today about the government’s media Convergence Review, released in its entirety yesterday. Equally, there are reams of different angles: ownership structures; spectrum allocation; regulating (or not, as it turns out) online entities such as Facebook, Google and any solely online publishers for that matter; local content; a public interest test … OK, we’ll stop now.

The report is huge, as are its implications if fully implemented. But trying to get a handle on the recommendations, and why they’ve been made, let alone the current framework and how it compares, is virtually impossible.

So we’re creating a one-stop shop for you: short of reading the report yourself, Crikey’s idiot’s guide tis the closest you’ll come to forming a bigger picture.

But why should you care? Isn’t this just for media wonks, moguls and self-interested journos? Well, no. As Margaret Simons writes today: “We live in an increasingly media-enabled world, and the recommendations emerging from this seminal review will impact on just about every aspect of our lives over the decades to come.”

In Bernard Keane’s view, this review “proposes an entirely different philosophy of media regulation from the one we’ve had for nearly a century, one in which politicians don’t make the key decisions about media ownership through law, merely identify the broad principles of what they want achieved and leave it to an independent regulator to accomplish”.

Which is why most of these proposals will probably remain precisely that — proposals, recommendations, informed suggestions. There are hard decisions to be made, and they involve picking winners and losers. Safe to say the government’s been well and truly bitten on that front — does it have the energy, not to mention the political will and capital, to take it up to the already-hostile moguls? All signs point to no.

Should it surprise us though, our guide will prove to be a handy reference tool when it comes to reading between the lines …

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  • 1
    Meski
    Posted Wednesday, 2 May 2012 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Rupert already hates them, they have nothing to lose on that front by implementing it properly. And it’ll give Tony “repeal” Abbott something else to do.

  • 2
    solasaurus
    Posted Thursday, 3 May 2012 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Who knows? Now that Labor appears destined to lose the next election - whenever that should be - perhaps they can just get on and push through good policy and restrains the influence of Big Media in future. With Capt. Rupert and his pirate ship Newscorp facing the sharp glare of public scrutiny that they so relish foisting on others, perhaps now is a good time to get a new structure for media regulation up and running.

  • 3
    izatso?
    Posted Monday, 7 May 2012 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    ” The fact remains that this was a case of a man graphically describing, and apparently advocating, an act of violence upon a woman — and not just any woman, but the Prime Minister herself. Given the rise of conservative hate speech, and the shooting last year of Gabrielle Giffords in the United States, this incident should have been given front page prominence in Australian newspapers. The fact that it wasn’t is frightening. It is, in fact, a tacit endorsement by Australia’s mainstream press that violent hate speech by men against women and politicians is now socially acceptable. A dark door has been opened — and we can only wonder what may be on the other side” David Donovan at the Indepedentaustralian, on Morrison, of course…..

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