Poll shows support for media regulation inquiry

Sydney morning Herald, Lenore Taylor, August 12, 2011
THE Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, and the Greens leader, Bob Brown, have discussed possible terms of reference for a parliamentary inquiry into media regulation, as a new poll shows 60 per cent of voters support the idea.The negotiation will continue when Parliament resumes next week, when the government is likely to make a final decision about whether to proceed.  An Essential Research poll commissioned by a GetUp!-linked activist group, Newsstand, suggests majority voter support for another media inquiry.  Sixty-one per cent of those surveyed ”agreed” or ”strongly agreed” with the proposition that ”a public inquiry into the Australian media is necessary so the public can better understand the relationship between politicians, corporations and media outlets.”

Sixty per cent agreed when the idea of an inquiry when read the proposition ”following recent revelations in Britain about phone hacking conducted by newspapers, there should be a public inquiry into the performance and regulation of the Australian media.”

On each question 69 per cent of Labor voters supported an inquiry, but a majority of Coalition voters also backed the idea.

The Greens and crossbench independents Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor have backed an investigation. Andrew Wilkie has said he is ”open-minded” but the Coalition has argued another inquiry is not necessary.

Newstand, which launched an online petition yesterday calling for an inquiry, says it is funded by ”GetUp! and some generous individuals” and operates with ”a few staff and lots of volunteers”.

It consulted the Centre for Policy Development, the Australia Institute, Media Matters for America, the Centre for Independent Journalism, GetUp! and the international activist organisation Avaaz before starting its campaign.

The petition calls for a full parliamentary inquiry to examine ”how to promote higher standards, protect people’s privacy while guaranteeing the freedom of the press, stimulate a more diverse media marketplace, and ensure that problems and complaints can be handled simply, fairly and effectively”.

The poll found 86 per cent of the 1200 people surveyed agreed or strongly agreed with the proposition that ”it should be easier to make complaints against the media when there is a concern about biased and inaccurate reporting”, including 89 per cent of Labor voters and 84 per cent of Coalition voters, and 70 per cent agreed with the statement that ”too few people control the media in Australia.”

Any parliamentary inquiry would run alongside an existing review into media regulation in the digital age – the so-called ”convergence” review. Senators Brown and Conroy met last week.

News Ltd has announced a review of editorial expenditure to ensure payments had been made for ”legitimate purposes”. There have been no allegations of wrongdoing in Australia.

Avaaz said it had 25,000 signatures on an online petition calling for a comprehensive review of media laws and practices.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/media-and-marketing/poll-shows-support-for-media-regulation-inquiry-20110811-1iox0.html#ixzz1UquwKG7v

2 thoughts on “Poll shows support for media regulation inquiry

  1. The Murdoch press were strangely silent about this & the news of the world controversy. A great deed would be done for a thorough investigation into Australian media, especially news corp. Fairfax papers maybe better in their reporting of AGW, but where they make up in positives, they eclipse it with negatives through their talkback radio stations 2UE, 4BC, 4BH, 3AW & 6PR.

    The ABC news seems to just laregly copy & paste whatever ltd.news has to say.

    • Strangely silent. A few phone hacking distractions. Next thing you know, we will hear that they were running workshops in London on how to do it. Wonder if our Australian affiliate participated in these workshops?

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