Media reform: hysterical attacks on weak Conroy suggestions tell the real story
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The ongoing criticism in the major news media of Communication Minister Stephen Conroy's very soft and watery proposed media reforms is predictable but still breathtaking. Conroy's proposals go nowhere near the recommendations of the Finkelstein Inquiry to introduce an independent News Media Standards Council; and nowhere near the more sweeping changes recommended by the Convergence Review to take Australian media law into a converged, forward-thinking era. Instead, Conroy has - for the most part - bowed to early criticism and concern from media owners, CEOs, editors-in-chief and conservative commentators and opted for some tame options which sound purposeful but will deliver little. Despite this, the roar about "Soviet-style" reforms, restrictions on freedom of speech, and government bureaucratic "tsars" running the media are deafening. It is a great irony that one of the most important institutions in our society which exists to protect democracy - the news media - consistently sees itself as above scrutiny, requiring no monitoring except from within its own ranks.
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Communication and Media Studies not elsewhere classified