This weekend, I was on ABC24's program One on One being interviewed by Jane Hutcheon about why I think an Australian media inquiry is necessary.
The Questions Harto Won't Answer
News Ltd boss John Hartigan has assured the punters that all's well at Holt St. So why won't he answer Wendy Bacon's questions about how journalism gets done at his papers?
Questions for the CEO of News Ltd - they remain unanswered.
As the phone hacking scandal blew up in Australia where News Corporation controls 70% of the metropolitan audience in the most concentrated media in the developed world, News Ltd CEO John Hartigan assured the public that nothing so heinous as phone hacking would ever happen in Australia. There was no evidence to doubt his word, but it seemed to me that each media context was different. News corporation is a integrated global company. Some stories got by phone hacking by News International were certainly published here. There were also other questions to which it would be useful for Australia readers to have answers.
How powerful media players cry 'censorship' to fight off accountability
There is a long tradition of media owners in Australia invoking press freedom to trump calls for frameworks to ensure accountability and ethical behaviour, especially at News Ltd.
Questions for an Australian Media Inquiry
There is debate about whether we should have an Australian inquiry into the media and in particular News Ltd which controls 70% of our print media and chunks of our sport and TV industries. I would have thought with arrests of News executives for criminal and corrupt activities and investigations into whether the company is 'fit and proper' to hold licenses, an inquiry would be on the agenda. Some journalists disagree, fearing that an inquiry could lead to state control. Those of us pushing for an inquiry need to be clear on the issues it should explore and what we hope to get out of it.
No Rules For Murdoch To Break
Why does Australia have such a concentrated media and such a weak system of self-regulation for media owners? To help make sense of all this, I made a brief timeline of media regulation in Australia. You can find it here in New Matilda. Back in the early seventies, Murdoch even opposed the foundation of an Australian Press Council ( APC) funded and controlled by the media organisations. He later joined by then withdrew after a finding of bias against one of his newspapers. News Corporation later rejoinedfter the APC did not pubicly oppose his takeover of the Herald and Weekly Times. This was a crucial step which made him the dominant media boss in Australia. He was assisted by some political mates who were disgruntled with media company Fairfax's investigative journalism.
Media In The Firing Line
What sort of questions should a parliamentary inquiry into media ownership and regulation tackle? Wendy Bacon has a few ideas - and we invite you to add your own.
Why News needs Regulation
Today I published a piece on News Corporation, phone hacking and implications for Australia. I was surprised by how easily commentators and reporters in Australia were prepared to accept that the key issue for us is whether phone hacking actually happened at News Ltd papers in Australia.
Fracking Faultlines Extend Into Heritage Areas
Dart Energy are planning to drill for coal seam gas near two National Parks in the lower Hunter. Nicole Gooch and I continue our investigation into the coal seem gas industry in NSW.
Cloud Over Sydney Coal Seam Gas Plan
An update to my investigation with Nicole Gooch into the coal seem gas industry.