(Image: AAP/Joel Carrett)

As if the federal government didn't have enough on its hands dealing with the economic fallout from the pandemic, it must deal with the future of the Australian media as well.

Traditionally "the future of the Australian media" in federal politics meant who would be allowed to own what, and what favours the government would hand to the Murdochs, the Packers, the Stokes, and what the quid pro quo would be for those who missed out. Now it means whether it has a future at all.

For every other industry being mauled by the shuttering of the economy, the question for the government is how to keep it on life support until things improve. Even aviation, which faces years of hardship, will eventually recover, if not necessarily to quite the health it enjoyed until February.