Let’s talk: Will these new laws mean older voices are sidelined from the media? 29

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The Turnbull government has green-lighted controversial new reforms to Australia’s media ownership laws. However, people are worried that diversity will no longer be represented in our media, and that older voices will be drowned out.

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield announced that the “75% rule” which has long determined media ownership, will now be scrapped. Previously, a person could not exercise control over broadcast licences which reached more than 75% of Australia’s population.

In effect, this rule has meant that media moguls have been unable to control both a newspaper, television and radio station within one region. This has helped protect Australia’s media independence for decades, and ensured a variety of voices are heard.

The government has argued these reforms are positive though. “There is the opportunity to bring Australia’s media laws into the 21st century to make sure that they reflect not the analogue world, but to capture and cater for the world that we live in today”, Mr Fifield said.

Sports will still be televised in the same way, meaning that major events will appear on Free-to-air TV. Even so, the ABC has reported that Turnbull’s reforms “could result in several mergers between Australia’s television, radio, digital and print companies”.

In this changing media landscape, many older Australians are worried their interests will not be served. Facebook user Linda Williams said, “This serious breach of democracy is outrageous”.

Whilst Chris Wood added online, “There goes the last protection against blatant widespread news bias, and any hope of hearing multiple viewpoints so people can make their own minds up”.

Starts At Sixty remains an independent family business, spotlighting the needs and voices of older Australians like you. Today, we want to know what you think about this topic…

Are you worried about these media reforms? Do you think media moguls will now “swoop in” to control newspapers, radios and televisions in your area? Are you worried about older voices being sidelined from major media outlets now?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Murdock has now a bigger playing field. But people are sourcing there news in other ways they know mainstream TV and media are all dribble

    2 REPLY
    • Olena Helen Tomlinson I don’t have Fox I don’t watch TV wouldn’t bother watching or reading any of his dribble. To think many years ago I was toying with maybe doing journalism at UNI thank god I didn’t bunch of brainwashed dribble brains they are.well mainstream are in my opinion and I think I’d rather clean toilets instead.

  2. I only watch the news on ABC or ABC 24 , the rest of the channels are biased especially Foxtel

    1 REPLY
    • And the Abc & SBS are not biased!!!!!
      The commercial stations are full of weak stories and not NEWS worthy, they also forget that there is a big world out there.

  3. I get my news online now I boomark many news outlets and read them all, so that I can get a proper perspective. This will only make Murdoch a more powerful force in Australia. This man is not even an Australian, he gave up his Australian citizenship to become a citizen of the USA

  4. The news media provides such a poor product already – it can only get worse in my opinion if this legislation gets through – it wont be only older voices sidelined, it will be every disenting voice – this puts democracy itself in peril.

    1 REPLY
  5. Our news has always been biased and that won’t change a thing, we are all fed the BS that the networks want to feed us which means if you have half a brain you will go in search for other sides to the story so you can have an independent opinion on the subject.

    1 REPLY
  6. The only way to find the truth is to read widely. These new laws make it harder to avoid media bias and gives more power and influence to a few wealthy individuals. The Coalition owe Murdoch enormously for his successful smear campaign against Gillard and this is part of the payback.

    1 REPLY
  7. I rarely watch anything but ABC or SBS news. I won’t buy newspapers, except our local paper, as in SA we just have a Murdoch rag. I doubt it will make much of a difference. From opinions you read on sites like these it is apparent so many people accept the gospel by Bolt or Jones and only ever watch sensationalist news services. Most of my news I now get online from a variety of sources. I despair at some of the fluff that is ‘news’ and how many important issues you have to hunt for news on. What does concern me as a country residence is will we lose our regional news if city stations engulf Win, Prime and Southern Cross.

  8. I don’t like it at all, every time something like this arises, I ask myself what is behind this? what’s in it for the Rupert Murdoch’s of this world. 🇦🇺 😩 👎

    1 REPLY
    • More money but possibly more importantly for their mega egos,more power.

  9. Murdoch’s in control at the ABC. She subsequently worked for British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) in London before becoming director of legal and business development for Foxtel in Sydney in 1998. She then moved to Hong Kong, rising to become CEO of News Corporation broadcaster, Star TV.http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/broadcast/abc-set-to-appoint-michelle-guthrie-to-replace-mark-scott-as-managing-director/news-story/e36f020487479e3ec47227245fc746eb

    1 REPLY
  10. Our media is the mouthpiece of one individual as it is – we need our ABC to be free from political interference so that we have some sort of objective reporting going on. Reducing the responsibility of the media to provide that responsible reporting it playing into the hands of the people who are already doing an excellent job of dividing our society and feeding our hate of the more vulnerable members of that society. We need to ensure that when we vote in the next election we make our voices heard and do not play along with this corruption of our society for the personal gain of a very few.

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