Last week, media giants Fairfax and Nine merged to form a new company, which is coincidentally, also called Nine. The effective end of a 177-year-old media company, the possible attendant job losses, the potential silencing of one more media voice, and the implications for regional media coverage are all occasions for worry. But how did we get here?
The media reforms that allowed this to happen have been pursued by the Coalition government for very a long time -- specifically the removal of the "two out of three" rule, which prohibited a single company controlling a newspaper, TV network and radio network in the same area. Back in February 2016, Crikey politics editor Bernard Keane noted the troubled history of these reforms, and noted the long-term involvement of a Liberal stalwart: