Analysing policy: focus on media regulation

There is no doubt about it – Australia needs to regulate the media in a much more structured manner. This is an issue that concerns every each and every one of us. It is a complex issue and is highly fragmented.

After years of complaints flooding in as a result of issues arising from out-dated reforms and the publicity generated by the Finklestein Inquiry, The Australian Law Reform Commissions (ALRC) launched a review into the National Classification Scheme. Focus was placed on updating the reforms to reflect the ever evolving media landscape and making clear guidelines for convergent media. The ALRC’s recommendations included:

– Clearly identifying which media must be classified

– Ensuring that the different types of media work together to ensure that each industry specific guideline is adhered to

– The classification board’s decisions reflect community standards

– ‘Replacing the current classification cooperative scheme with enforcement of classification laws under Commonwealth jurisdiction.’

As a group activity in class this week, we reviewed The Telegraph’s response to Commissioner Conroy’s announcement that a reform for heavier media regulations was to be implemented. The Telegraph published a scathing article in which they compare Conroy to Communist leader Stalin and highly exaggerate and dramatize the proposed reforms. The Telegraph then published an ‘apology’ – this was far from a sincere recognition of their misdeeds. It contained further accusations of Communism censorship and went as far to label Conroy as worse than Stalin. We decided that The Telegraph’s behaviour only served to illustrate the need for tougher media regulations – their complete lack of respect for any sort of authority cemented Conroy’s point. We concluded that the Telegraph was rebelling for completely selfish reasons but tried to mask their dishonourable intentions as concern for the public.


Flew, T (2012) ‘Media Classification: Content regulation in an age of convergent media Media International Australia incorporating Culture and Policy, 143 May : 5-15

Crikey says: still not sorry, Commissar Conroy | Crikey. 2013. Crikey says: still not sorry, Commissar Conroy | Crikey. [ONLINE] Available at:  [Accessed 27 March 2013].


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