Volume 3, Number 1, 2003 [ SPECIAL EDITION ]
By David Flint
Professor Flint’s speech addresses issues in relation to the Australian Broadcasting Authority’s proposed new policies on local news broadcasting. Questions of regulation involving the maintenance of local news programming, and the ABA’s solutions are discussed. In outlining the objectives of the Broadcasting Act, Professor Flint also highlights the local significance of news services, the implementation of aggregation and its implications for commercial television in Australia, as well as the difficulties in broadcasting to a widely dispersed region such as Queensland. Professor Flint explains the ABA’s points system which was recently introduced to require all regional television broadcasters to address matters of local significance.
Professor David Flint is currently Chair of the Australian Broadcasting Authority and was previously Chair of the Australian Press Council (1987-1997). He was Dean of Law at the University of Technology Sydney 1987-1996 before being appointed an Emeritus Professor in 1999. He has served on many international legal bodies and published widely on media, constitutional and foreign investment issues.
By Jack Waterford
Jack Waterford gives an overview of key issues and challenges for contemporary regional editors. Issues such as, the seemingly ‘atomised society’ exist not only in cities, but in the country regions of Australia; and the media’s disconnectedness from the local community are addressed, along with the impacts of changing newspaper buying habits. Just what the term, ‘localism’ means in news today? Does the fact that journalists are increasingly ‘far better educated’ improve or impair their ability to successfully tell the stories of the communities in which they work?
Jack Waterford is editor-in-chief of the Canberra Times. He was the Graham Perkin Australian Journalist of the Year in 1987. He is a regular columnist and radio commentator and has published extensively on a wide range of topics including freedom of expression, public administration and Aboriginal Health.
Using Arnold Wesker’s play, “The Journalists” to illustrate the direction and focus of his address, Paul Chadwick points out the balance between journalism and privacy requires great precision and compatibility. He states that ‘so long as privacy is not read as a synonym for secrecy, then privacy is a value that journalism ought to protect, in part to protect itself’. As well as discussing five types of fame, his address looks at the issue of journalism’s role in the ‘machinery of democracy’, and argues that, in order to protect privacy, transparency is required.
Paul Chadwick is the first-appointed Victorian Privacy Commissioner. He trained as a journalist at the Herald and Weekly Times in the 1970's, and has published extensively on freedom of information and media ownership while at the Age and as director of the Communication Law Centre in Victoria for 8 years. In 1997 he received the Walkley Award for the Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism.
Points raised in the excerpt from the above paper include concerns about compliance by the market with the new Broadcasting Services Act and the establishment of an industry standard to provide for set levels of local content in regional television news services. The Communication Law Centre also commended the ABA in full on its intention to impose licence conditions on regional broadcasters and saw the points system of the ABA as ‘vastly superior to the local content scheme of the Media Ownership Bill’. Other concerns involved the possible watering down of current affairs and the local content quota, the awarding of points to repeats of community service announcements, and the mix of news and other local content.
Derek Wilding is Director of the Communication Law Centre at the University of New South Wales. Prior to this, he was a Senior Industrial Officer with the federal office of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance and worked for the Centre for Media Policy and Practice at Queensland.
Dr Yoshiko Nakano, Hong Kong University
Elliott S. Parker, Central Michigan University, USA
Dr Philip Robertson, Central Queensland University
Jim Tully, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
Dr Stephen Stockwell, Griffith University
Philip Cass, Zayed University, United Arab Emirates
Dr Steve Quinn, Zayed University, United Arab Emirates
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