Currently, Australian Law doesn’t allow any one media player to own a radio, TV and print operation. Known as the “two out of three” law, it looks likely to be changed when federal parliament resumes this year.
After discussions with MP’s from both sides of parliament and media companies, Communications Minister Mitch Fifield has concluded that the current laws are outdated.
Also added to the “outdated” pile is the “reach rule”. The current law doesn’t allow a media operator to reach more than 75 per cent of the population, which ignores the growth of online media.
“The reach rule and also the two-out-of-three rule as it’s known are the two that I am particularly looking at, but what I am told and what I hear from various players in media markets is that they want the freedom to configure themselves the way that they best think suits their business,” Fifield told ABC Radio.
The proposed new laws are being crafted to reflect “the world that we currently live in” as “the media laws we currently have are gradually being rendered redundant by both technology and the choices that gives consumers.”
Today the Australian Communications and Media Authority launched a series of infographics to help make sense of what is currently happening with media ownership in Australia.
Click on the images to see a larger version:
Rupert Murdoch owned media in Australia
Lachlan Murdoch owned media in Australia
Kerry Stokes owned media in Australia
Janet Cameron owned media in Australia
Currently News Corp controls around 70 per cent of newspapers in the country, ahead of rival newspaper group Fairfax Media Ltd.
Australia has only three main free-to-air television networks — the Nine Network, Ten Network Holdings and Seven West Media — as well as the publicly funded ABC and SBS TV networks. Commercial free-to-air networks can currently stream their services nationally.
If the new laws pass, this looks likely to change dramatically.
Full disclosure: Gizmodo Australia is owned by FairFax Media Ltd.