Chance for local content

11-07-2018 by admin

CHANGES to media ownership laws would lead to more local content according to Communications Minister Mitch Fifield.

The changes, which were introduced to parliament but not passed beforeitwas dissolved, include removing the current restrictions which prevent one organisation from owningmore than two out of three of the main media platforms, and the removal of the 75 per cent reach rule.

That rule prevents commercial television organisations form broadcasting to more than 75 per cent of the population, originally designed to help create diversity in content.

Mr Fifield said he believed the laws would give greater commercial freedom to media organisations and would lead to more content.

“If they are more viable they should be in a better position to provide local content,” he said.

He also said that built into the legislation was a requirement to encourage the creation ofmore local content once the 75 per cent threshold was passed.

“Ultimately if there is change it will be determined by the media organisations themselves,” he said.

“I want the media laws to reflect the world we live in because the laws as they currently aredon’t recognise that the internet exists.

“We have these constraints that exists on media organisations, constraints that were designed to protect diversity in a pre-digitalworld.

“Diversity is less of a concern now but if you want to have real diversity inAustralian media organisations,the number one thingto underpin that is the viability of those organisations so you don’t want to have any unnecessary impediments.”

Mr Fifield said the intention was to bring the changes back before parliament if the Coalition wins the upcoming election.

Ballarat MP Catherine King was contacted for comment however did not respond to questions on the issuebefore The Courier went to print.

Mr Fifield visited Ballarat last week to campaign alongside Liberal candidate for Ballarat Sarah Wade.

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