Wednesday, May 10th, 2017 #MEAAMedia #pressfreedom Featured MediaRoom News Releases
MEAA Online

MEAA welcomes the establishment of a Senate select committee that will inquire and report on the future of journalism in Australia.

The news comes as Fairfax Media journalists have returned to work after a seven-day strike with their heads held high having highlighted the threats to quality journalism that will result if Fairfax continues with plans to make 125 metropolitan daily journalists redundant.

MEAA has long called for the Government to come to grips with the crisis affecting journalism. Merely changing ownership rules will not improve long-term sustainability.

MEAA CEO Paul Murphy said: “The proposed restructure at Fairfax Media, where the company proposes to cut 1-in-4 journalists resulting in the company abandoning reporting of key areas of Australian life, indicates just how serious the crisis in public interest journalism has become. Fewer journalists means fewer stories.

“Public interest journalism is vital for a healthy democracy. The last week has shown there is great community concern at the potential loss of so much journalistic talent, so it is great to see the Senate will now examine the issues.” Murphy said.

MEAA will make a submission to the inquiry.

What do you want to say?

Here are some suggestions about the kinds of things you might want to include in your submission:
  • What is the media like where you live? How much diversity/concentration of media is there in your area? How important to you is media diversity and having a wide range of voices and opinions? Will the takeover reduce competition/diversity in the Australian media sector?
  • What Fairfax and Nine publications and programs do you consume? What attracted you to them in the first place, and what do they mean to you/your family/household? What will be the impact of the takeover on the choice and range of media you consume?
  • How distinct is Fairfax journalism – what makes it different?  Describe a story or stories published by Fairfax over the years which have made a difference to you/had an impact on you/changed the way you think? What would your life/community be like without the journalism that Fairfax produces?
  • Who are the Fairfax journalists you always read/trust?
  • How important is fearless, independent journalism? What will be the impact of the takeover on investigative journalism and does it increase the risk of that independence being compromised by the commercial interests of the proprietor or its advertisers?
  • What else do you think the ACCC should consider when ruling on this takeover, and what would you like the ACCC to do?