IFJ Urges Australian Government to Improve Media Diversity

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) the global organisation of journalists representing more than 500,000 journalists worldwide, has called on the Australian Government to withdraw amendments to Australia’s cross media ownership laws, arguing that Australia can ill afford a further concentration of media interests.

“Australia already has one of the most concentrated media industries in the world and should be examining ways to expand media diversity, not contract it,” said IFJ Secretary General Aidan White today.

The Murdoch owned News Corporation controls nearly 70 per cent of metropolitan newspapers measured by circulation. The Fairfax group controls virtually all the others.

“The proposal being introduced by the Australian Government would undoubtably increase the concentration of media ownership,” says White.

Current Australian rules prevent one company controlling a daily newspaper and television station in the same city and restrict foreign ownership. The proposal on the table would ease both the cross media and foreign ownership restrictions.

This is the second time this year that the Australian Government has attempted to introduce the laws. A similar law was submitted to the Australian Parliament in June but rejected by independents and the opposition in the Australian Senate.

“Two’s too few when it comes to media ownership. The Australian Government needs to change tack and act to develop more healthy media diversity in Australia,” says the IFJ.

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The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 100 countries