The Australian media inquiry is currently taking submissions until Oct 31 2011, and I urge everyone to get involved.
You might consider the following points:
1. Media ownership: do we need to break up New Ltd’s 70% market share and cross-media control, and how? What benefit will this bring?
2. Media regulation: will our media benefit from more independent regulation? Can the ACMA and Australian Press Council be improved to this effect, or do we need new bodies with greater regulatory power and a better understanding of the regulatory problems presented in the changing online media landscape?
3. Workplace relations: it is apparent that the News of the World scandal which sparked this debate has a lot to do with the working culture in Rupert Murdoch’s organisations, as well as other struggling media outlets. In an environment of dwindling staff, pay cuts and increased workplace competition, journalists have to produce more content with less time to do their work, and many are afraid of losing their jobs, adopting unethical practices to get ahead and prove themselves to their employers. This encourages undesirable journalism. Can we regulate the workplace rather than the content to ensure a safer, fairer environment, and thereby achieve a better product overall?
4. Should we have more publicly funded journalism? Should the ABC receive an enhanced budget? Should an independent, peer-reviewed body, like the Australia Council, be set up to incentivise good journalism practise and that which has gone missing in much of the mainstream media: investigative journalism? Can we provide grants and awards for investigative journalism and alternative media outlets which are doing good work with little pay? Is it the government’s role to use public funding to provide essential common benefits to our democracy that the marketplace is failing to provide, such as reliable information and investigative journalism?
Good luck with your submission!