Minister Fifield closer to a cross bench deal for media reforms | radioinfo

Minister Fifield closer to a cross bench deal for media reforms

Thursday 17 August, 2017

Discussions continue with Senate cross benchers to secure the passage of the Media Reform package.

The package has the unanimous support of the Australian media industry, but is yet to gain majority support in parliament.

The Xenophon Senators "understand the pressures facing Australian media and share the Government’s desire to secure reform" according to the Minister's office, and are on the verge of supporting the media reform bill.

The Government has reached "in-principle agreement" with the Xenophon Team on four measures.

 ·         ACCC inquiry: Treasurer to direct the ACCC to conduct an inquiry into the impact of the new digital environment on media.

·         Enhanced local content in smaller regional markets: Increase the post-trigger event points requirements in smaller (i.e. non-aggregated) regional television markets.

·         Community Television: A further extension for community television licensees. The Government will also hold a roundtable discussion with the sector to discuss its future.

·         Review of Asia Pacific broadcasting services: Review into the reach of Australian broadcasting services in the Asia Pacific region.

The Government has also indicated its willingness over a longer term to work closely with the Nick Xenophon Team "to develop further policy measures to ensure that local journalism remains vibrant in our communities."

Local, independent, quality journalism is under pressure due to fragmenting markets, increasing competition and the shift of advertising dollars to digital platforms. "The Government shares Nick Xenophon's concerns about the consequences of these factors for quality independent local journalism," according to the Minister's office.

radioinfo will continue to watch this debate unfold in the parliament and bring you the latest updates.


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