Reports: Media Reform shake-up is imminent

At the risk of crying wolf, multiple reports suggest Media Reforms will pass through the Senate today after the government secured the support of Nick Xenophon’s NXT.

Having secured the support of One Nation already the govt has the numbers to pass the bills, despite opposition from Labor and the Greens.

The reforms have wide support from media organisations, but questions remain about scrapping the ‘two out of three’ rule, allowing a company to own a TV station, newspaper and radio station in a single market.

Nick Xenophon pushed for a fund for 200 journalist cadetships of as much as $40,000 each, and grants up to $1million for publishers with a turnover of between $300,000 – $30million.

“I and my colleagues welcome the Government’s commitment to implement a regional and small publishers jobs and innovation package worth $60.4 million over three years,” he said.

Treasurer Scott Morrison has also agreed to have the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission conduct an inquiry into Google, Facebook and other online giants.

But Xenophon will not vote in favour of any funding cuts to the ABC or SBS, which One Nation wants for its support. One Nation also wants ABC and SBS to disclose staff salaries of more than $200,000 in separate legislation, an inquiry into “competitive neutrality” and the ABC have the words “fair and balanced” inserted into its charter.

Labor and the Greens have attacked Senator Xenophon for dealing with the government and warned the reforms would lead to a reduction in the ABC’s budget.

Senator Derryn Hinch will also support the media package.

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said the reforms were for the entire media industry.

“This will ensure we have strong Australian media voices into the future,” he said.

Debate was adjourned last night but is expected to conclude today.

Source: ABC, Fairfax, Nine.


  1. What funding cuts are the Greens and the ALP talking about, and Fairfax and The ABC agreeing are in the bill? The one Hanson demanded before withdrawing that demand months ago? Ones that don’t exist and Xenophon has stated he will block if anyone did try to reintroduce them?

    The ALPs supports removing the Reach Rule (but wants to keep the 2/3 Rule so they can claim to have stopped Rupert taking over the world). The Green are just annoyed that they can’t sell their own vote for pork now that Hinch, Hanson and Xenophon got in first.

  2. Latitude Financial will have to get Alec Baldwin back to redo their adverts now to: What is it Australia only one Pay TV service, only 4 major banks and only one media owner, you can do betterer.

  3. From other reports it sounds like a nest of perverse incentives is on the way e.g. “revenue-based licence fees” leading to the actual licencee being a loss-making subsidiary, etc.

    And “the ABC have the words “fair and balanced” inserted into its charter”? Of course! Why not? A nice simple solution to placate some simple people!

    It certainly worked overseas, and stopped Fox News in the US from being unfairly biased…

  4. Congratulations. Looks like the Murdoch-Gordon bid for TEN will now end up been the winner with these antiquated laws now dead. Can’t see the CBS deal getting up anymore. Big win for the country with a new strong right wing voice and no American owing our TV Networks, good to see the Aussies win.

    • Uh, Rupert Murdoch is an American. Has been for 30+ years. Was a British citizen & resident before that. Hardly the “local Aussie boy” you’re looking for; more, to quote Tom Lehrer, “a man whose allegiance is ruled by expedience”…

      Bruce Gordon lives in Bermuda and Monaco – both notorious tax havens – and has a house in Sydney. Win TV’s ultimate parent company – Oberon Broadcasters Pty Ltd – is a privately-held Australian registered company that, on first glance, seems to record most of its income in Bermuda.

      But by all means, go right ahead and believe Rupert and Bruce are keeping the “Americans” out…

    • but,
      a) the motion to have the MG bid added to the ballot at the creditors meeting was dismissed by the court yesterday,
      b) the CBS is ‘up’ and will be voted on at that meeting.
      c) MG bid still needed FIRB approval as they are a foreign company.

      • Fun fact: tinfoil hats will actually set up resonances that concentrate radio waves; especially, wavelengths that have an even-numbered relationship (e.g. 2x, 1x, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8) to one of the linear dimensions of the hat (e.g. across, lengthways, etc).

        NASA studies found the average human head measured 18.8cm on a line front-to-back just above the ears (i.e. the brim of a tinfoil hat). As it turns out, that’s a nice 1/8th resonant length at 199MHz.

        The TV connection? Back in the analogue days, 199MHz was near-enough the centre frequency of Ch9… 😉

        (The lesson? Make your anti-mind-control hat out of something that’s leaky at RF, like a mylar space blanket…)

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