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The media regulation debate in a democracy lacking a free expression guarantee

Volume 18, Issue 2

October, 2012

From page
89
to page
101
Pearson, M. (2012). The media regulation debate in a democracy lacking a free expression guarantee. Pacific Journalism Review, 18(2): 89-101.
Author(s): Mark Pearson
Publication date: 
October, 2012

Two major inquiries into the Australian news media in 2011 and 2012 prompted a necessary debate over the extent to which rapidly converging and globalised news businesses and platforms require statutory regulation at a national level. Three regulatory models emerged—a News Media Council backed by recourse to the contempt powers of courts; a super self-regulatory body with legislative incentives to join; and the status quo with a strengthened Australian Press Council policing both print and online media. This article reviews the proposals and explores further the suggestion that consumer laws could be better utilised in any reform. It concludes with an assessment of the impact of the inquiries and their recommendations upon free expression in a Western democracy lacking constitutional protection of the media.