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Campaign for Freedom of the Press

March 18, 2013

By Barry Tucker                    18 March, 2013

The federal Labor government’s proposed news media changes may or may not get through parliament this week. The newspaper industry is campaigning against the Bills. It claims the Bills are an attempt to restrict the freedom of the Press, to control newspaper content.

You can read the Bills in just a few minutes. The language is not complicated or hard to follow. If you can then tell me where they restrict freedom of the Press or control newspaper content I’ll buy you an ice cream.

There is barely a single activity that is not controlled or regulated in some way in this country, as is the case in most civilised countries. Journalists are supposed to be self-controlled by their Code of Ethics; newspaper content may be subject to the laws of defamation; readers can complain about stories and refer that complaint to the Australian Press Council if they are not satisfied with the way it was handled.

The News Media (Self-regulation) Bill 2013 provides for the news media to regulate itself, through the existing press council but in a more accountable way, subject to oversight by an independent Public Interest Media Advocate — who is not subject to government control.

The real concern of the news media industry is the fear of limitation of growth or expansion of their business through acquisition and consolidation. This part of the campaign is being conducted by News Limited, the Australian arm of international media conglomerate News Corp. News Limited already has a suffocating grip on Australian news media (70% of newspapers alone) and boss Rupert Murdoch wants more.

 

Murdochtweet

 

Mr Murdoch does not acknowledge the role his Australian news media outlets have played in denigrating the federal Labor government in the minds of the Australian voters. One of the polls he refers to, Newspoll, is 45% owned by the Australian arm of his media conglomerate, News Limited.

Further control of news media by News Limited IS NOT in the best interest of our democracy. A reduction of Rupert Murdoch’s power and influence IS IN the best interest of our democracy.

The real threat in this war is the potential threat to FREEDOM posed by further consolidation and lack of control and regulation of news media.

If there is any lingering doubt about the present threat to freedom and democracy, you need to read this http://bit.ly/144n1Wh and this http://bit.ly/1119RVC published by Margo Kingston’s Australians for Honest Politics.

If you value democracy, freedom of speech and you want balance and impartiality in what you can hear, see and read in the news media, please contact the politicians listed below and ask them to support the government’s proposed news media Bills.

Adam Bandt

http://twitter.com/@adambandt
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Adam.Bandt.MP
email adam.bandt.mp@aph.gov.au
Canberra (02) 6277 4775
FAX (02) 6277 8583

Rob Oakeshott

http://twitter.com/@OakeyMP
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Oakeshott/1415774696
email http://www.aph.gov.au/R_Oakeshott_MP
Canberra (02) 6277 4052
FAX: (02) 6277 8403

Andrew Wilkie

http://twitter.com/@WilkieMP
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/andrewwilkiemp
Canberra (02) 6277 4766
FAX: (02) 6277 8579

Tony Windsor

http://twitter.com/@TonyWindsorMP
emails www.aph.gov.au/T_Windsor_MP | or
Tony.Windsor.MP@aph.gov.au
Canberra (02) 6277 4722
FAX: (02) 6277 8545

Craig Thomson

http://twitter.com/@DobellThommo
No Facebook
Website http://www.aph.gov.au/C_Thomson_MP
email Craig.Thomson.MP@aph.gov.au
Canberra (02) 6277 4460
FAX: (02) 6277 2123

Bob Katter

http://twitter.com/@RealBobKatter
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/bobkattermp
email Bob.Katter.MP@aph.gov.au
Personal website http://www.bobkatter.com.au/
Party website http://www.ausparty.org.au/
Canberra (02) 6277 4978
FAX: (02) 6277 8558

Tony Crook

email http://www.tonycrook.com.au/contact.aspx
Personal website http://www.tonycrook.com.au/
Canberra (02) 6277 4105
FAX: (02) 6277 8471

Peter Slipper

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/PeterSlipperMP
email Peter.Slipper.MP@aph.gov.au
Website http://www.peterslippermp.com.au/
Canberra (02) 6277 4490
FAX: (02) 6277 8405

The Nationals (traditional supporters of media diversity)

Warren Truss

Personal website http://www.warrentruss.com/
Party website http://www.nationals.org.au/
Canberra (02) 6277 4482
FAX: (02) 6277 8569

Senator Barnaby Joyce

http://twitter.com/@Barnaby_Joyce
email senator.joyce@aph.gov.au
Personal website http://www.barnabyjoyce.com.au/
Canerra (02) 6277 3244
FAX: (02) 6277 3246

Darren Chester

Personal website http://www.darrenchester.com.au/
Canberra (02) 6277 4029
FAX: (02) 6277 8402

George Christensen

http://twitter.com/@GChristensenMP
Canberra (02) 6277 4538
FAX: (02) 6277 8508

John Cobb

email John.Cobb.MP@aph.gov.au
Personal website http://www.johncobb.com.au/
Canberra (02) 6277 4721
FAX: (02) 6277 8543

John Forrest

email J.Forrest.MP@aph.gov.au
Personal website http://www.jforrest.com/
Canberra (02) 6277 4550
FAX: (02) 6277 8532

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