Thursday, October 19, 2006

Media Laws

John Howard says that the following events are unrelated to the new media laws that allow concentration of media ownership in different markets.
  • the Seven Network (Kerry Stokes) has bought a stake in a Western australian newspaper, a market where Channel 7 operates.
  • PBL (James Packer) is to sell 50% of his media empire to concentrate more money on gambliing, including Internet gambling comapnies.
There will undoubtedly be other movements in the media industry.

The timing is more than coincidental, and Seven Network's purchase of newspaper interests would not have been allowed under the old regulations.

For Mr Howard to suggest that these events are independent of the new laws reflects either political naivete on his part, or that the statement is designed to be misleading.

Yesterday, Communications Minister Helen Coonan stood before the camersa nd said word s to the effect that everyone will get the same content ... on TV, the papers, on mobile phones. That is EXACTLY the criticisms levelled at the new laws. That is, regardless of teh medium used, the public will get the same content, because the same people will own multiple media outlets in the same market!

Further, I don't know WHY Senator Fielding needed to meet with James Packer or his representative, and other media interests to decide if voting for the legislation was good. WE knew it would be good for media owners. What did Senator Fielding gain from his meetings?

The Analyst