Christian Kerr writes:

Labor acting communications spokesman
Lindsay Tanner got it right in one last night when he told PM what’s wrong with Helen Coonan’s media package:

What this will
mean is that instead of having viable six different sources of public debate
and public opinion in major media markets, it’ll end up being in many cases
only two or three. That will mean that you can have two or three individuals,
very powerful billionaires in most cases, effectively deciding what Australians
read, watch, and listen to, and the diversity of information, of opinion, will
inevitably shrink.

So that’s the shadow. But where’s his

Helen Coonan’s package could see PBL
absorbing Fairfax and News Limited swallowing up Network Ten. Two very powerful
voices will have their volume doubled. Isn’t that something a leader should have
an opinion on? Something a leader should be leading debate on?

It seems we have another ticker test for
Beazley. Does he stand up for the public interest on media ownership – or suck up
to the proprietors?

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey