Academics and Activists in the Policy
Process: Engagement with
Australian Media Inquiries 2011-13
Paper presented to the C...
‘Policy windows’
• Convergence as disruptive of established business
models and policy settlements – “policy windows” for
...
Australian Media Policy Inquiries 2011-13
• Convergence Review (2011-12)
• ALRC National Classification Scheme Review (201...
Convergence Review
• „Regulation constructed on the premise that content
could (and should) be controlled by how it is del...
Convergence Review
• „Many from industry argued that there is really little need
for regulation at all, although some supp...
National Classification Scheme Review
• Inconsistent treatment of “adult” content across Australia
• Broadcasting Services...
Finkelstein Review
• Proposed as social responsibility approach to the media
rather than “marketplace of ideas”
• Replacin...
Copyright and the Digital Economy
• Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) Inquiry
framed by:
– New opportunities for inn...
Academic input into the Inquiries
• Three inquiries chaired by academics on secondment:
– Terry Flew (QUT) – Classificatio...
Academics and the Finkelstein Review
• Largest academic contribution was to Finkelstein Review
(22 of 75 submissions)
• A ...
GetUp! changes its mind
• We believe in freedom of the press, and the model of
regulation that has been put forward seems ...
Demise of the Media Policy Reform
Agenda
• Government‟s final
response very modest
and based on
established media
• Public...
Conclusions
• Involvement of academics as Chairs of public inquiries
may increase
• Relationship of academics in such a ro...
Professor Terry Flew: Academics and Activists in the Policy Process
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Professor Terry Flew: Academics and Activists in the Policy Process

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A presentation given to the Centre to Law, Justice and Journalism, City University London, 24 Oct 2013

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Professor Terry Flew: Academics and Activists in the Policy Process

  1. 1. Academics and Activists in the Policy Process: Engagement with Australian Media Inquiries 2011-13 Paper presented to the Centre for Law, Justice and Journalism, City University, London 24 October 2013 Terry Flew, Professor of Media and Communication, Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
  2. 2. ‘Policy windows’ • Convergence as disruptive of established business models and policy settlements – “policy windows” for media reformers (Aslama & Napoli, Just & Puppis, Braman) • Rise and fall of a “convergent media policy moment” in Australia
  3. 3. Australian Media Policy Inquiries 2011-13 • Convergence Review (2011-12) • ALRC National Classification Scheme Review (2011-12) • Independent Media Inquiry (Finkelstein Review) (201112) • ALRC Copyright and the Digital Economy Review (201213) • Other reviews (e.g. digital switchover, national cultural policy, rural and regional telco. services)
  4. 4. Convergence Review • „Regulation constructed on the premise that content could (and should) be controlled by how it is delivered is losing its force, both in logic and in practice‟ (ACMA, 2011: 6). • ACMA: 55 broken concepts in broadcasting and telcos laws
  5. 5. Convergence Review • „Many from industry argued that there is really little need for regulation at all, although some supported retaining regulation of commercial benefit to them. On the other hand, individuals and community groups identified areas where regulation should be retained and in some cases strengthened‟ (Convergence Review Committee, 2012: 1). • How to move from platform-based regulations to focus on content, most significant media, and regulatory parity between platforms and services
  6. 6. National Classification Scheme Review • Inconsistent treatment of “adult” content across Australia • Broadcasting Services Amendment (Online Services) 1999 – Internet media with ACMA/films, publications and computer games with Classification Board • Proposal for mandatory Internet filter based on Refused Classification (RC) category • Search for core principles and platform neutral forms of regulation for convergence
  7. 7. Finkelstein Review • Proposed as social responsibility approach to the media rather than “marketplace of ideas” • Replacing self-regulatory Australian Press Council (APC) with a government-funded independent statutory regulator: News Media Council • “enforced self-regulation” • “Labor plan to control the media” (AFR)?
  8. 8. Copyright and the Digital Economy • Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) Inquiry framed by: – New opportunities for innovation in the digital economy – is copyright law an obstacle? – Wider range of users/producers/consumers that copyright law impacts upon in digital economy context
  9. 9. Academic input into the Inquiries • Three inquiries chaired by academics on secondment: – Terry Flew (QUT) – Classification Review – Matthew Ricketson (Canberra) – Finkelstein – Jill McKeough (UTS) - Copyright • Input of individual academics and research centres • Academic involvement in NGOs e.g. Electronic Frontiers Australia
  10. 10. Academics and the Finkelstein Review • Largest academic contribution was to Finkelstein Review (22 of 75 submissions) • A „great divide‟ between journalists and journalism educators manifested in Finkelstein? • Academics involved seen as opposed to „freedom‟ in News Limited papers and elsewhere
  11. 11. GetUp! changes its mind • We believe in freedom of the press, and the model of regulation that has been put forward seems to us to cut across that important freedom. Governments shouldn‟t be choosing who gets to picking and choosing who gets to have a voice and who doesn‟t … If people don‟t like what is being written, they can stop buying it or find another way to get their message out … In an age of online news and media, there are a myriad of sources of news, and readers will be the arbiters (Sam McLean, Director, GetUp!)
  12. 12. Demise of the Media Policy Reform Agenda • Government‟s final response very modest and based on established media • Public Interest Media Advocate (PIMA) main change • Legislation unable to be passed in the House
  13. 13. Conclusions • Involvement of academics as Chairs of public inquiries may increase • Relationship of academics in such a role to advocacy groups not widely discussed • „Statism‟ and „libertarianism‟ as competing strands of the progressive/NGO media spectrum

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