The federal government’s media inquiry released its long-awaited report today – 469 pages of policy discussion for interested parties to absorb on a Friday afternoon.

Are you excited yet? How about now? What about now? Now? Anyone?

Guess they don’t know the end-of-the-week pub habits of journalists too well. Stay tuned to The Punch as we delve through the other 459 pages in the coming days. Here’s what it looks like at this point.

Over the past couple of weeks there has been speculation that the inquiry would propose the establishment of a media ombudsman or a licensing system for journalists. Turns out the inquiry has only ended up making one significant recommendation.

Right now the Australian Press Council takes care of print media standards and ACMA takes care of broadcast standards. The inquiry says that there should be one super-regulator that would enforce news standards across the whole media, a “News Media Council”. The body would cover online news media as well.

Even bloggers who get more than 1250 page views a month would come under the council’s auspices. And it makes sense, because all media should have to face similar standards across all the different platforms, even cranky anonymous bloggers.

The Council would be funded by the government but independent of it. And the Council would be able to deal with press complaints quickly and efficiently.

The media copped a lot of LOL-tastic criticism through this process, memorable moments including Bob Brown labelling News Limited, the publisher of The Punch, “the hate media”.

And the inquiry’s impetus in the first place was a hunger to find similar practices to what happened in the UK in Australia – something that there is no evidence of having happened here.

But while the report says there has been a decline in standards under the current Press Council regime, it does say:

There is another side to the media that ought to be acknowledged. Despite the volume of complaints and criticisms, what also became apparent to me during the course of the Inquiry is the news media’s many achievements, and just how strongly many people, both inside and outside the media, care about the health of news and journalism.

Australia’s newspapers employ many dedicated professionals, performing their roles skilfully and diligently. The process of accountability proposed here recognises the realities and difficulties of journalism, emphasising immediate exchange and correction rather than financial or legal punitiveness.

It doesn’t sound like a witch-hunt against journalists. It does sound like some things are going to change though.

UPDATE: And here’s a word from News Limited boss, Kim Williams:

It is an ambitious document, and when we have had the time to consider it in full we will comment in more detail. But the spectre of a government funded overseer of a free press in an open and forward-looking democracy like ours cannot be justified.

News Limited supports strong independent self-regulation of the print and online media and has led work to achieve this with The Australian Press Council. If print and online media are to continue to be able to robustly question, challenge and keep governments in check, they must remain self-regulated entirely independent of government. 

There is no role for government to be involved in regulation that adjudicates on whether or not reporting is fair and balanced. There is too much at stake for politicians to be able to stay impartial and independent when it comes to deciding how the media reports on them.

A strong Australian Press Council should oversee the standards and complaints process for Australian print and online media. The Council is meeting with publishers next week to continue discussing steps to further strengthen the Council. I am hopeful that will result in a constructive outcome which defends independence underpinned by public accountability with appropriate measures for transparent independent complaint, review and public commentary.

Most commented


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    • SimonFromLakemba says:

      02:19pm | 02/03/12

      “Turns out the inquiry has only ended up making one significant recommendation”

      Getting rid of News Ltd smile

    • nihonin says:

      02:31pm | 02/03/12

      Fairfax as well, hell lets throw in the ABC too wink

    • SimonFromLakemba says:

      02:41pm | 02/03/12

      Nah News LTD will do. The intelligence of Australia might increase afterwards.

    • nihonin says:

      02:53pm | 02/03/12

      ‘Nah News LTD will do. The intelligence of Australia might increase afterwards.’  Stop it I’ve got a stitch from laughing.

    • Leigh says:

      03:51pm | 02/03/12

      Maybe the government can hand out what they want us to do,think, read and say on bits of used toilet paper.
      I can tell the difference between bulltish and truth.
      Nobody here got a brain?
      If you don’t like what someone is offering you to read or listen to its very simple thickheads.
      Don’t bother to read or listen to it.
      Just because this useless government doesn’t like the media for exposing them for what they are, they try and muzzle it.
      No other reason than that.
      If the politicians don’t like what is said about them they have the right of reply.
      They need to take up this option with these “shock jocks” and defend themselves.
      By not doing that they give the “shock jocks"more fuel.
      That they don’t speaks volumes to me. Gutless the lot of them.
      Does anbody really think Abbott and the liberal party are going to get a free ride if they get to govern?
      Instead this government go to the abc where they have total control or fairfax media and every things luvy duvy.
      I’ve had enough of these enquirys that do nothing but waste taxpayer moneys again and again.
      I want an election not another bloody enquiry!!!!

    • Bertrand says:

      07:08pm | 02/03/12

      @nihohin and SimonFromLakemba - have either of you ever thought that media which adheres to your world view is no more or less unbiased than media that adheres to other world views?

      News Ltd has a conservative bias. Fairfax swings more to the liberal side.

      An intelligent person would consume media from a variety of sources and make up their own mind on issues. Anyone who simply consumes media that confirms their pre-existing ideas, and then mocks all other media as biased and unintelligent is likely less intelligent than the media they are mocking.

    • nihonin says:

      11:54pm | 02/03/12

      Bertrand, I believe both Simon and I were merely having a bit of a dig, but obviously it offended your sensibilities, if it did, don’t read the comments then.  But if it interests you so much has to ‘how I make up my own mind on issues’, I read The Age, The Australian, The Drum and even Andrew Bolt all on line (yes I know, the horror you must feel over the last one).  Thanks for your considered but irrelevant input.

    • acotrel says:

      04:54am | 03/03/12

      ‘Does anbody really think Abbott and the liberal party are going to get a free ride if they get to govern?’

      It depends on what mood Rupert is in at the time !
      Incidentally, how does the average dickhead on the morning train know if they are being bullshitted to by a newspaper ?  The polls are media driven !  We are supposed to live in a democracy, that much power in the hands of one man is dangerous.

    • Don says:

      07:53am | 03/03/12

      “Incidentally, how does the average dickhead on the morning train know if they are being bullshitted to by a newspaper ?”

      You really need to get some more respect for the “average dickhead”. Try having some original thoughts (and posts) for a change yeah?

    • Nilbog says:

      09:10am | 03/03/12

      @ acotrel

      Rupert barely runs News Ltd these days, his son does. Even someone of your age should know that.

    • Bertrand says:

      10:15am | 03/03/12

      @nihonin - I was just being touchy smile

      I’m going to blame my Friday night scoob.

      And I read Andrew Bolt too. I usually get filled with rage, but read him I do.

    • nihonin says:

      02:32pm | 03/03/12

      lol all good Bertrand and tsk tsk mate wink

      Have great weekend.

    • nilbrain says:

      03:55pm | 03/03/12

      Actually nilblog
      His son James ran Europe and Asia until he got the sack last week.
      Now he sits in New York twiddling his thumbs as Murdoch looks at his last remaining option for familial succession, Elizabeth.

      Hartigan left News Ltd last year knowing the heat from the UK operation would be felt in Oz.
      Kim Williams, is CEO, and Rupert is the chairman of News Ltd.

      Do try to keep up.

    • acotrel says:

      06:44am | 04/03/12

      I read Andrew Bolt too.  But I find his stuff depressing.  If I want to get depressed, all I have to do is think of the disenfranchised, and disadvantaged in our community. I don’t need to read Andrew Bolt’s version of sticking it up them !

    • SD says:

      02:20pm | 02/03/12

      At least the punch prints views alternative to the maniacal, pro-right. Now for the future if you had to some it up in one sentence. Dumber undoubtedly; the world over is going that way; more shrill, pro-Liberal, sensationalist, void of facts and standards.

    • Inseminoid says:

      02:30pm | 02/03/12

      I’d like to state how I feel concerning how Labor and the Greens are governing the country, how dar….....................


    • Pete says:

      03:21pm | 02/03/12

      SD, I am sure you mean ‘...sum it up…’, talk about Dumber.

    • SD says:

      03:42pm | 02/03/12

      I type faster than i think, so bound to make the odd err. That’s pretty damn fast!!!

    • Karin says:

      03:45pm | 03/03/12

      “Rupert barely runs News Ltd these days, his son does”

      I bet that is news to James and Lachlan.

    • Erick says:

      02:29pm | 02/03/12

      “The Council would be funded by the government but independent of it.”


    • nihonin says:

      02:37pm | 02/03/12

      Breath Erick, breath, need a brown paper bag to help you wink

    • Bev says:

      02:44pm | 02/03/12

      We will be able to tell very quickly.  Depending on who the government appoints to the council and how they are appointed.  There is a strong case that appointments to these councils/boards/tribunals should be subject to parliment scrutiny not just the executive as they are in the US.

    • nihonin says:

      02:50pm | 02/03/12

      ‘There is a strong case that appointments to these councils/boards/tribunals should be subject to parliment scrutiny not just the executive as they are in the US..’

      I’ve that brown paper bag on standby Erick.

    • Cati says:

      03:14pm | 02/03/12

      as independent as Fair Work Australia!!!!!

    • simonfromLakemba says:

      04:21pm | 02/03/12


      FWA are stacked with ex Union people, but 85% of the time they side with the employer.

    • Bev says:

      05:45pm | 02/03/12

      Oops! (its late in the day)
      There is a strong case that appointments to these councils/boards/tribunals should be subject to parliment scrutiny not just the executive as they are in the US.

      Should read:
      There is a strong case that appointments to these councils/boards/tribunals should be subject to parliment scrutiny (as they are in the US) not just the executive.

    • Trev C says:

      09:42pm | 02/03/12

      @ Simon from Lakemba - yeah sure Simon, like how they have quickly and thoroughly investigated alleged inappropriate use of a union credit card by a former union official now a sitting labor member of parliament. There is now way FWA is independent of government, and no way any government funded entity could even presume independence.  Thats just bull.

    • marley says:

      02:38pm | 03/03/12

      @simonoflakemba - have you got a source for that?  (I’m not challenging you, I’m just interested).

    • luke09 says:

      02:33pm | 02/03/12

      Reporting on government policies is hard at anytime and it is more difficult when a PM utters the quote ‘completely untrue’ on a report about Bob Carr being offered the Foreign Minister job and then announces two days later he is Foreign Minister.

      What is the media crackdown really for? It seems a desperate attempt to silent people who question and report on what we are seeing and being told.

    • Wordsmith says:

      02:45pm | 02/03/12

      Shhhhh, I have an underground paper, being organised at this very moment. They’ll never know.

    • Marilyn Shepherd says:

      02:42pm | 02/03/12

      There will not be a media crack down, that was pure paranoia peddled by the media.

      If they are forced to actually report though instead of this barrage of “opinion” passed off as news that will be great

      Our media is currently failing terribly on the world open media index as it is all run by two right wing families.

      And the PG need to go and help with the floods instead of confecting nonsense stories.

    • Inseminoid says:

      02:49pm | 02/03/12

      Damn, so you’ll be safe then!  But then you are funnier than the daily comics (that appear in those awful News Ltd papers).

    • DICK rOBERT says:

      02:51pm | 02/03/12


    • marley says:

      07:47am | 03/03/12

      @marilyn - so, no “media crack down” but the media will be “forced to actually report”.  I don’t want the media being forced to do anything.  If they defame somebody there are courts; if they state an opinion, there are blogs and letters to the editors;  if they get the facts about an incident wrong, there are competitors to correct and humiliate them.  That’s enough for me.  Having someone like you sitting on a board “forcing” the papers to tell your version of the truth is scarier than anything the media itself does.

    • Heavens to Murgatroyd says:

      03:10pm | 03/03/12

      Yeh marley because all that is working so well now.

      Stop being an apologist for the lazy biased scum that control the editorial output.

      Perhaps you haven’t heard of the “black arts” practised in the Sun King’s version of the press.

    • marley says:

      05:56pm | 03/03/12

      @Heavens to Murgatroyd - I’m not being an apologist, I’m being a realist.  The media are what they’ve always been - a business.  There are conservative media and liberal media and flakey, off the wall media.  They all have their biases.  They kind of reflect society, actually - because if they don’t, they don’t sell their product.  Nothing has changed in 300 years.

      With or without regulation, the media will change: the blogosphere will kill of the ones that can’t adapt.  I don’t have a problem, per se, with trying to develop higher standards for the media.  I have a problem with some individuals thinking that that means their own personal agendas set the standards for the rest of us.

    • Mark of Brisbane says:

      03:00pm | 02/03/12

      Two words that should be kept well apart ... media and responsible.

    • Inseminoid says:

      03:09pm | 02/03/12

      Responsible and government as well.

    • Young Robbie is Back! says:

      04:45pm | 02/03/12

      now that Bob Carr is here, there is no future for the Liberal Party, The national Party , and the mass media! Our local superhero will wipe the baddies out

    • James In Footscray says:

      05:10pm | 02/03/12

      Daniel says everything’s doing to be just fine, because Finkelstein says ‘Australia’s newspapers employ many dedicated professionals, performing their roles skilfully and diligently’. Phew, that’s all right then.  How could a bloke who says such nice things propose a bad law?

    • iansand says:

      06:44pm | 02/03/12

      I am utterly contemptuous of what passes for journalism in Australia and in other places.  But the way to deal with that is to treat “journalists” with the contempt they deserve - not by regulation.

      Note to the Usual Suspects:  That includes Andrew Bolt.

    • I hate pies says:

      01:05pm | 03/03/12

      Don’t forget to throw in Malcolm Farr, Mark Riley, Laurie Oakes and the entire Canberra press gallery.
      I think the state of the Australian media plummeted as soon as the newspapers started filling with opinion columns. That coupled with the extra column space provided by the internet and we are completed devoid of any objective analysis of anything. There’s no need for any journalist to tell us their opinions; just report the news and let us make up our own minds.

    • Michelle says:

      08:22pm | 02/03/12

      I think media and blogs should be more heavily policed and regulated when there’s a department to ensure the PM of Australia, and their ministers and senators don’t lie in print or spoken word.

      I believe that reporters and bloggers won’t right crap or lie when the PM and her government stop their crappy lying in media reports and interviews.

      Today Gillard jumped the shark.

      A lying PM lying about lying about being a lying PM proved she was a lying PM.

      Oh joy.

      It’s not media and bloggers that need policing against lying!

    • Rubens Camejo says:

      12:55pm | 03/03/12

      You forgot to mention the opposition members…

      News report in - 10/02/2012:

      “FEDERAL Opposition Leader Tony Abbott continues to blame the carbon tax for uncertainty over the future of Alcoa’s Geelong aluminium smelter, saying the best way to save the facility’s 600 jobs is to drop it.”


      “With the carbon tax, the aluminium industry is essentially dead in this country,” Mr Abbott said in Melbourne.”

      In the same article:

      “Alcoa has said the carbon tax has not played a role in the review of the Point Henry smelter.”

      Of course the coalition never lies…..hmmm…..

      If you want to vote for a politician that never bends the truth….... vote for….er….. ME. Vote me in for dictatorship of Australia… you can stage a coup the moment I get caught out on a lie

      I am your best chance of having someone in office that will call a spade a bloody shovel and tell it like it is. What you’re using to move that male bovine manure IS a shovel

      You see if you choose to believe one source for the information your opinion is based on you have to trust they have no ulterior motives and aren’t lying to you.

      Now if you want to learn the truth, Google Abbott and carbon… you’ll see that paragon of truth and faux indignation at other’s lies is a liar himself.

      His lies are contained in his exaggerations and omissions.

      Only fools believe even half of what he says

    • Andrew says:

      03:44pm | 03/03/12

      so exactly what is the purpose of the carbon tax Rubens, do you believe its been brought in to strenghen the manufacturing industry? By the way the alcola CEO said the australian dollar was the main reason but the CT was a contributing factor, and it was most likely less people would have loss there jons if the Ct was not coming in, but hey what would the CEO of the company know.

    • RyaN says:

      11:47pm | 04/03/12

      @Rubens Camejo: and of course Alcoa would want to get on the wrong side of the government by actually telling the truth as to what their reasons are. Sounds bad for business, any competent CEO will know not to get on the wrong side of government.

    • Philip says:

      08:37pm | 02/03/12

      So there is some problem with untruths in the media. Apparently, the solution is for the politicians to oversee and fix it. Am I the only one who gets a laugh out of the idea that politicians, more familar with lies and media manipulation than most, want to oversee the media because the media might have told a few lies. Is this a case of setting a rat to catch a mouse or maybe more like leaving the paedophile in charge of the kindy?

    • gary says:

      09:43am | 03/03/12

      Told a few lies?
      You mean like the little porkies you told your mum when she caught you red handed at the cookie jar?

      So you are happy for democracy to go down he gurgler so Rupert can sell a few more ads to Gina, Clive and the Pokies lobby?

      Think I’ll go off and “set a rat to catch a mouse”

    • Philip says:

      06:50pm | 03/03/12

      Well Gary I find the lies of government far worse. Let me see - there will be no ETS for starters. There are weapons of mass destruction, another lie that killed people. These are just a start and I bet a list a mile long could be put together with little thought. These lies are far more damaging and also tell us politicians are not fit to adjudicate these things as they lie from the top down. I do not have to read the lies of the media but I do end up paying for the lies of politicians. Only a true believer would think politicians have anything positive to contribute in this area.

    • biff says:

      08:56pm | 02/03/12

      I’m sure our current laws can deal with confected stories (ask Mamdou Habib) and I’m equally sure that most Australians can sort the wheat from the chaff so this proposed cocktail party masquerading as an oversight body is not needed.

    • WhoDat says:

      09:54am | 03/03/12

      Julian Disney, chairman of the Australian Press Council, has produced a report on an academic survey of the 2010 election that gauged public confidence in key institutions. Out of 14 institutions, the press ranked last - only 17 per cent had confidence in newspapers.

        In an Essential Media poll from last December, only 46 per cent trusted news and opinion in newspapers.

        His concerns were reinforced by community forums held by the council in four states. Members of the public consistently raised four issues: the blurring of the line between fact and opinion; misleading and sensationalist headlines; unjustified breaches of personal privacy; and increasingly vitriolic online commentary.

        Let’s clear these up. particularly the blurring (removal) of the line between fact and fiction. Do this until the next election and then let’s have an election based on facts, not opinion and bias.

    • marley says:

      10:27am | 03/03/12

      I keep reading opinions to the effect that the media should be regulated and forced only to report fact, and not opinion.  Fine and dandy, but facts need context, or they can be understood to mean something they don’t.

      For example, refugees.  I could state that Australia has one of the most generous refugee resettlement programs, taking more people out of the camps per capita than almost any (if not any) other western nation.  Or, I could state that, Australia is at the lower end of the scale in accepting refugees per capita compared to other western countries.

      I could state that official figures show there was a drastic decline in boat arrivals after the introduction of the Pacific Solution.  Or I could state that the official figures are misleading because they don’t include the people sent to Nauru and Manus or take into account other, concurrent factors. 

      I could state that the numbers of boat arrivals had already started to increase in the final years of the Howard government.  Or I could state that the numbers exploded a year into the Rudd government.

      All these statements are true.  But are they enough to explain the real situation?  I don’t think so.  To make sense of refugee issues, to build a picture of what has been and is going on, you need more than an assortment of facts.  You need context, experience, insight and, yes, opinion. 

      I think it’s far more valuable to have a variety of opinion being published and tested, than to deny the media the right to produce any opinion at all.

    • Jenn says:

      02:10pm | 03/03/12

      “I think it’s far more valuable to have a variety of opinion being published and tested, than to deny the media the right to produce any opinion at all.”

      You really are thick marley

      Nobody is arguing that the media can’t have as many opinions as there are journalists (not a lot unfortunately)
      The issue is publishing opinion as fact. You really must be a simple sort not to understand this basic concept.

    • Andrew says:

      04:01pm | 03/03/12

      Jenn, exactly what is fact, if you agree with it then it must be fact, if you dont then it isnt fact. The only simple person here living in there simple black and white world is you. Can you tell me how its always posible to distinguish between fact and fiction, in many cases wether you like it all not what bhappen or will happen is just an opinion, wether you agree with that opinion is up to you, Even after an event happens it isnt always possible to distinguish between fact and fiction, in many cases people have different opinions on what the results of that event may be or what events led up to it. What your saying is that you want every reporter and journalist to report exactly the same thing, after all in your black and white world there is only right and wrong, there is only fact and fiction. If you believe its fact then everyone should believe its fact, if you believe its BS then everyone must believe its BS.

    • Bertrand says:

      05:24pm | 03/03/12

      @Jenn - I actually thought Marley’s contribution there was one of the more thoughtful ones on this thread.

      There is no such thing as 100% objective fact; it is always going to contain biases, as media organisations select certain stories over others, or foreground particular issues in stories over others.

      Who is to decide when these inherent biases slide from fact to opinion? I vehemently disagree with the way News Ltd selects certain facts in order to demonise refugees in Australia, and I feel that much of this news is dangerously close to opinion, because of the way it chooses to present the facts and the way it focuses on some issues regarding refugees but not others.

      While you can look at a story in a News Ltd paper (or an ABC story or a Fairfax story - let’s not pretend bias isn’t inherent in all reporting) and see that there is clearly an agenda behind it in, that story can still be ‘factual’ in that the content it contains is true.

      For this reason, I disagree even more with the idea that a regulator should have the power to force them to present their stories in a manner deemed fit by the regulator. Why should a regulator have the right to say what focus or slant a media organisation should put on a story?

    • marley says:

      05:48pm | 03/03/12

      @Jenn - no, I’m not at all thick.  I’ve read more than a few comments on this and other blogsites over the last few months, demanding that the media stick strictly to reporting of the facts.  That sentiment was what my comment was meant to address.

      And my second point was that the “facts” are not sacrosanct:  the choice of which facts to include or exclude, and how to organise them, can change the tenor of an article entirely.  Facts are not synonymous with truth.. 

      But in any case, and beyond all of that, I’m not sure that it’s possible to separate fact from opinion. A reporter sees an incident and what he sees will be filtered through his own education, his experience, his expertise in the subject and his own inherent bias.  And the readers of his report will judge it by their own experiences and biases.  I might read a report on refugee matters, note that it is properly documented and consistent with what I know about the issues, and argue that it is factual;  you read it, with a different background and knowledge set, and claim it is opinion.  Who is correct? 

      A lot of the criticism of the press for pushing opinion rather than fact comes from that fundamental divergence of perception.  You only have to read The Drum and The Punch to know that there are people out there who will see a report as blatant opinion if it disagrees with their mindset, and as factual if it agrees.  Even when the facts say otherwise.

      So, mostly, I am trying to say that one man’s facts are another man’s opinions and I’m very hesitant to set up a mechanism to control that.

    • Rubens Camejo says:

      01:17pm | 03/03/12

      On Kim Williams’ comments

      I don’t like police policing police as I don’t like media policing media.
      They both have an interest in protecting themselves as institutions. I am not comfortable with government involvement either,

      At this stage, a government funded body that is truly independent and whose members have no more than two years tenure is our best hope.

      People in the media will protest that this will endanger freedom of the press and they might well be right. However, “the press” has brought this upon itself. Members of it have seen fit to report in a misleading way often lacking any balance or relevance to the true facts. News has been most guilty of this practice. You cannot escape the fact that the government has not received a balanced reportage of their actions.

      That the government has made many mistakes is absolutely true. That the government has done many things that they have tried to explain reasons they believe they are good things is also true News consumers would not know what those explanations have been though. What they have been served are reports laden with opinions and omissions. Obscure counter arguments have been used often emanating from people like that “Lord Bankum” with the startled eyes, to counter the government’s proposals.

      That these have occurred in articles purporting to report what the government was proposing is the reason we find ourselves at this juncture. A paper, radio station or TV outlet has ample opportunity to opine and claim whatever they wish to, when it is clearly defined as their opinion. When they mix news and opinion we that would defend their freedom to spout whatever opinion they wish are left exposed and disarmed.

      Oh, and rarely if ever, should a complaint against an organisation should take more than four or five weeks. Nothing should take years as some complaints have taken to resolve against some prominent people in the media.

      It is a bad day for all of us when the media cannot be trusted. We might as well live in Moscow or Teheran

    • Andrew says:

      04:08pm | 03/03/12

      wow rubens, the fairfax papers and the ABC are a bastion of truth and balanced reporting arnt they. You dont agree with the news Ltd paper so they are unbalanced, but you believe what is written in fairfax and on the ABC so they are okay. The problem is not with News Ltd but idiots like you who believe that noone has a right to write a story that you dont agree with.

    • Daul says:

      02:36pm | 03/03/12

      Censorship is not progressive. Don’t like the message? Change the channel/website/paper, etc.

      Socialists have terrible policies, therefore they need propoganda.

    • Luaddite says:

      03:22pm | 03/03/12

      Nobody is trying to censor the press and your strawman won’t work here.

      Asking that news consist of facts is not censorship.

    • Quotes says:

      03:24pm | 03/03/12

      “There is no role for government to be involved in regulation that adjudicates on whether or not reporting is fair and balanced”
      -> from the boss of News Ltd. Of fucking course.
      2 days after this, from the Shadow AG who thinks the Liberal Party Fan Magazine should be able to say and do whatever it likes
      ...shadow Attorney-General George Brandis says that the changes would mean the removal of provisions that prevent the use of words that could offend or insult.
      “We consider that to be an inappropriate limitation on freedom of speech and freedom of public discussion – as was evident in the Andrew Bolt case,”

      Apparently you scratch my back, etc.
      “Media self regulation” is as valid a statement as “natural petrol price cycle”

    • Karin says:

      03:40pm | 03/03/12

      Want a good laugh?

      Read the AJA Code of Ethics

      Love the bit about journos should be accountable.

      To whom?

      The ‘watchdog’ who is paid by the owners who employ said journos?

      Out of the 12 guideline, journos and their editors are guilty of breaching at least half a dozen every day.

    • Wolf Schmidt says:

      05:25pm | 03/03/12

      I don’t like the way this is headed.
      This left wing rat bag government will remove our freedoms
      one step at the time.
      One day we will wake up and find ourselves under communism.
      I hate to say this, but we need to get rid of all the left wingers and permanently.

    • FINE COTTON says:

      01:21pm | 04/03/12

      GROW UP. I can’t believe the stupid scare mongering rubbish some posters put on here

    • Bertrand says:

      04:10pm | 04/03/12

      I concur FINE COTTON.

      Calling for the permanent removal (extermination?) of people whose opinions differ to yours is such an over-reaction and reeks of the intolerance and totalitarianism you apparently hate.

      Similar comments were made last week, with at least two people calling for the army to step in and remove the Labor government by force.

      Get some perspective.

    • RyaN says:

      11:39pm | 04/03/12

      I smell a troll and two victims.

    • youdy beaudy says:

      01:46am | 04/03/12

      It would be obvious that a media body would be put in place to ” keep the bastards honest at last”. It also would be obvious that it would pull into line the suggested intentions of New Ltd. to dominate the Australian Media. That is a worry as it seems to be very biased in it’s reporting and would seem to be pushing the negative labor line all of the time. Really a Liberal Party supporter over others, and through this having influence over the Political aspect of Australian Politics. Feeding biased negativity against Labor and promoting Liberals is just about filling Mr Murdocks pockets even more. How much money does he need.! The punch reporting and subsequent negative comments are good evidence of this.

      In a country where now, one needs a gold card to change a lightbulb, it may be good to have a gold card for journalists as well. To keep their political exuberance in check would be good.

      The punch is a good outlet for peoples expression but it would be better if their Journalists would have a more balanced approach, an independent approach. Not having to jump on the bandwagon of negativity against the Government just because that if they don’t push the Murdock anti labor rhetoric constantly.

      There are laws in this country to stop domination of any market place. I don’t think that the ACCC have done their job very well regarding this. I think they have been a toothless tiger bowing to the large companies all of the time. Woolworths, Coles and their petrol outlets come to mind re this. We wonder why small businesses go broke each day and can’t keep up. Domination of the Market place maybe, would that be the problem i wonder.


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