Mar 14, 2013

Conroy’s public interest test in international perspective

Labor's proposed public interest test for media ownership changes has drawn howls of protest. Matthew Knott examines how the proposal compares with the UK and US.

Matthew Knott

Former Crikey media reporter

If federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy succeeds in shoehorning a public interest test for media mergers and acquisitions through Parliament, Australia won’t be alone in having such a law. And no, we’re not talking about Cuba or Iran — rather those other notoriously despotic regimes, the United States and the United Kingdom.

In assessing Conroy’s proposed public interest test, it’s useful to compare it with the US and the UK equivalents. All three reflect the same underlying principle: numerical cross-media ownership laws, on their own, are insufficient to protect media diversity. But there are fundamental differences between them, as Crikey has noted previously.

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3 thoughts on “Conroy’s public interest test in international perspective

  1. tonyfunnywalker

    It is hypocritical that the lead in this tirade is the CEO of a branch office of a Global company where the UK branch office has 2 editors on charges for ” perverting the course of justice” , numerous journalists arrested for illegal phone tapping, or bribing the police and government officials.

    Police have lost all public respect with resignations and jailing and more to come. It led to the closing of a 150 year old paper from the shame of tapping the phone of a murdered school girl.

    The Press only have themselves to blame and public opinion is moving that way. Journalistic opinion is irrelevant and it is designed to ensure it retains the share of the media dollar. Citizen Kane is alive and well.

    Cameron in the UK, like Gillard is strugglng with the press barons of the UK on exactly the same issues and his failure to implement may well cost him his leadership and the next election.

    Cameron was personally implicated in the UK debacle a claim that cannot be made against the Gillard Government as the press have been hell bent on regime change from day one.

  2. shepherdmarilyn

    Why our lazy, sloppy moronic media think they should have total control over their own behaviour beats me and why they think they should not have to answer to anyone for bad behaviour or lying or photoshopping silly crap beats me.

    Our media in Australia is crap, they all just say the same thing and the number of investigating journos is now almost zero.

    If we had a media worthy of the name we would all be better off.

  3. klewso

    “Public interest”? I thought that had to pass Murdoch’s first?

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