Regulating journalists? The Finkelstein Review, the Convergence Review, and News Media Regulation in Australia
Flew, Terry & Swift, Adam Glen (2013) Regulating journalists? The Finkelstein Review, the Convergence Review, and News Media Regulation in Australia. Journal of Applied Journalism & Media Studies, 2(1), pp. 181-199.
This paper identifies two major forces driving change in media policy worldwide: media convergence, and renewed concerns about media ethics, with the latter seen in the U.K. Leveson Inquiry. It focuses on two major public inquiries in Australia during 2011-2012 – the Independent Media Inquiry (Finkelstein Review) and the Convergence Review – and the issues raised about future regulation of journalism and news standards. Drawing upon perspectives from media theory, it observes the strong influence of social responsibility theories of the media in the Finkelstein Review, and the adverse reaction these received from those arguing from Fourth Estate/free press perspectives, which were also consistent with the longstanding opposition of Australian newspaper proprietors to government regulation. It also discusses the approaches taken in the Convergence Review to regulating for news standards, in light of the complexities arising from media convergence. The paper concludes with consideration of the fast-changing environment in which such proposals to transform media regulation are being considered, including the crisis of news media organisation business models, as seen in Australia with major layoffs of journalists from the leading print media publications.
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