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Australian review recommends axing cross-media laws

Thursday 15 Dec 2011
An Australian government review has recommended the biggest shake-up of media regulation in decades, ABC News reports.

Australian review recommends axing cross-media laws

The Convergence Review was set up to work out how Australia’s media regulations should adapt as the media undergoes huge changes.

Media regulation was much simpler in the past, but the digital revolution has introduced a number of new players that cannot be called a radio or TV station or a newspaper.

The initial findings of the review, released today, recommend cross-media laws be axed.

And the review also wants to replace the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) watchdog with a more flexible regulator.

The chair of the review, Glen Boreham, said it was time for new laws and new names.

“There will be a lot of debate coming out of this interim report. We’ve coined this phrase, ‘content services enterprise’, that are subject to these regulations,” he said.

But most likely to spark debate is the committee’s recommendation for the old cross-media ownership regulations.

The laws were developed in the 1980s to prevent anyone dominating all traditional media outlets in one market.

The interim report says laws preventing anyone controlling more than two out of the three traditional media outlets in one market should be abolished.