Given last week’s announcement that TV network Nine will acquire publisher Fairfax, The Echo asked local federal MP Justine Elliot: ‘Is Labor committed to reversing the laws that allowed this to occur if elected? If not, what will Labor do if elected to ensure diversity of media? Also – will these laws now enable full homogenisation of Australia’s media landscape? ie can we expect Murdoch’s Newscorp to be able to acquire Channel Ten and or Seven for example?’ Mrs Elliot replied, ‘I strongly support media diversity and I am deeply concerned about the takeover.’
‘The announcement that Fairfax and Nine propose to merge their print, TV, radio and online businesses will create the largest single commercial media entity in Australia.
‘Australia already has one of the most concentrated media markets in the world and this proposed takeover will make it even worse.
‘Labor opposed and voted against the repeal of the two out of three rule in parliament because democracy suffers if you have too few media voices; workers suffer when mergers inevitably lead to job losses; and citizens, consumers and communities get less diversity, less coverage and less choice.
‘This proposed merger means that public broadcasting has never been more important, yet the Liberals and Nationals continue with their shameful ideological attack on public broadcasting with further budget cuts to the ABC.
‘… Protecting the ABC and SBS from the Liberal and National Party cuts is critical, and Labor will always fight for public broadcasting. Labor will explore every avenue to protect and bolster media diversity.’