Let’s not go down the Australian media regulation route

The Australian Kangaroo Court blogs on what is proposed in Australia:

 “If a publisher distributes more than 3000 copies of print per issue or a news internet site has a minimum of 15 000 hits per annum it should be subject to the jurisdiction of the News Council, but not otherwise. These numbers are arbitrary, but a line must be drawn somewhere.” (15,000 hits a year is just under 300 hits a week which is almost every blogger who posts at least twice a month. Whether he means page views or unique browsers I do not know but it does not make much difference at the end of the day. It is a very low number and would even capture high school children who have a blog)

If the report author has referred to hits he is technically illiterate. You get a hit for every item on a page. One page view can generate 3o hits. And the idea of blogs being forced into this new regulatory body is a huge threat to bloggers in .

There should be a legal requirement that if a regulated media outlet refuses to comply with a News Media Council determination the News Media Council or the complainant should have the right to apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for an order compelling compliance. Any failure to comply with the court order should be a contempt of court and punishable in the usual way.

And so this News Media Council could force bloggers to remove content, without any trial or proof of defamation etc.

I’m glad the proposals in NZ from the Law Commission are so much more sensible (while not perfect), than what is proposed in Australia.

Submissions on the Law Commission’s preliminary proposals on media regulation can be made at http://www.lawcom.govt.nz/project/review-regulatory-gaps-and-new-media?quicktabs_=issues_paper. Submissions close on March 12 2012.


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