What does News Ltd want from the Federal Government for the Daily Telegraph
to support censorship of free-to-air, but not pay TV television
programs? With changes looming in media laws, Holt Street has done a
suck job on the tacky Big Brother issue and supports calls for greater scrutiny on TV programs (but not newspapers – that would be censorship).

Here’s a sample of the Tele’s editorial pandering to Trish Draper, the religious right, Media Minister Helen Coonan and her boss, John Howard:

As a general rule, the Daily Telegraph does not
support censorship – and what newspaper could? The truism is that the
best form of control is the remote control is, by and large a valid one.

But
there are limits to what the public is prepared to accept – it’s for
this reason that we vet and ban pornography and that we also curtail
sexually graphic and violent films which are made in the name of art.

And it can be argued that Big Brother, as a free to air product is close to or has even passed that point.

Note
the distinction between free-to-air TV and pay TV – in which News has a
stake – and where some of the most offensive and foul-mouthed shows are
broadcast. The editorial concluded:

Commercial television might just be stripped of some of the
freedoms it is currently abusing. Rightly so because there are limits
to what we are prepared to accept, particularly when it’s presented so
disingenuously.

Commercial television, which has profited so handsomely from reality television, could soon eat some of its own harsh reality.

The only person to call for censorship has been Trish Draper, the
junket-taking Liberal Party MHR from Adelaide. She wants the new
Australian Communications and Media Authority to be given the power to
take TV programs it’s investigating off the air.

Note that there’s no one reviewing or controlling the content of
newspapers in this country, and that’s what that defender of public
morality, News Ltd, wants to see continue, while limiting or attacking
the ability of a rival media to compete.

But while there’s no remote control for newspapers, but there is the
closed wallet: stop buying the paper. Which is why sales of the Tele, along with all newspapers, have fallen faster in recent years than free-to-air TV viewing .

Peter Fray

Save 50% on a year of Crikey and The Atlantic.

The US election is in a little over a month. It seems that there’s a ridiculous twist in the story, almost every day.

Luckily for new Crikey subscribers, we’ve teamed up with one of America’s best publications, The Atlantic for the election race. Subscribe now to make sense of it all, and you’ll get a year of Crikey (usually $199) and a year’s digital subscription to The Atlantic (usually $70AUD), BOTH for just $129.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW