TV & Radio

Mar 14, 2013

The end of local news? What reform could mean for regional TV

Outside of capital cities, viewers sometimes struggle to get access to locally produced news about their area. Will this get worse if Southern Cross and Nine are allowed to merge?

Glenn Dyer — <em>Crikey</em> business and media commentator

Glenn Dyer

Crikey business and media commentator

Tomorrow’s sitting of the special Parliamentary Committee to consider parts of the proposed media law changes will concentrate on whether the 75% audience reach rule should be abolished. But the real battle with the 75% rule (which states that companies can’t broadcast to more than three-quarters of Australia’s population) is over local news broadcasts.

The hearing will be told all sorts of things by the networks as they push their own barrows, and not those of viewers in the regions. It has to be remembered the networks have promised much in the past for the regions, but were cut when times got tough and industry revenues and costs dropped, especially as capital city markets came under pressure.

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One thought on “The end of local news? What reform could mean for regional TV

  1. Holden Back

    Would it sound disloyal as a regional dweller to say that most regional news coverage is shite, anyhow? It’s either the work experience girl, or trainee on their way somewhere or stranded local identities, most of whom have difficulty doing straight reportage on a car accident or a bushfire, let alone on issue with some genuine complexity (say controversial developments or coal seam gas mining). Political reporting is non-existent apart from soft interviews with local members opening envelopes. And now it’s time for sport and the weather: ten minutes in from the titles.

    Diversity sounds so much more fascinating in the abstract.

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