Most watchers of government might have suspected that restructures and redundancies were used to quietly get rid of the worst performers. Some have se
We recently moved our readers to a new system. You may need to reset your password here to login.
Not a member ? Join here for free.
Forgot your password?
Home Features Regulation with a nudge: ACMA learns its pressure points
Text size :
TAGS Australian Communications and Media Authority, regulation, regulatory bodies, Australian media, Chris Chapman, media
The broadcast media watchdog is evolving as the industry it regulates convulses and converges into a mash-up of old and new media. In the meantime, it’s finding new ways to keep things civil on the airwaves.
The hallmark of a good regulatory framework is predictability, according to Australian Communications and Media Authority chief Chris Chapman, and that comes from a consistent approach to interpreting the regulations.
For ACMA, which administers nine different broadcast industry codes, deep thought has gone into what words like “fairness” and “impartiality” really mean in the course of investigating code breaches over the years. As part of a drive to become a more effective, lighter-touch regulator, the media watchdog has produced a series of papers explaining how it has interpreted these concepts in actual cases over the years.
The first paper covered fairness, impartiality and what constitutes a distinct viewpoint in the context of balanced reporting; the second focused on accuracy. The third and final paper will explore ACMA’s understanding of “generally accepted standards of decency”, which a certain Kyle Sandilands demonstrated is not shared by everyone in the media.
The regulator decided to produce the papers off its own bat to help broadcasters get on the same page. The chairman says nobody has “taken issue” with anything they’ve written so far. “There was nothing else in the market that has this depth of analysis or this thematic cut of what we do, so I think it’s been very well received,” Chapman told The Mandarin.
Receive unlimited access, get all the latest public sector news and features, plus The Juice, our daily news update sent direct to your inbox.
The Mandarin is where Australia's public sector leaders discuss their work and the issues faced within modern bureaucracy. Join today to discover the latest in public administration thinking and news from our dedicated reporters, current and former agency heads and senior executives.
Stephen Easton is a journalist at The Mandarin based in Canberra. He's previously reported for Canberra CityNews and worked on industry titles for The Intermedia Group.
Read Related Content
The new Children's e-Safety Commissioner will begin working with agencies across all tiers of government on solving online bullying of children. But the new office comes at the cost of several existing ACMA programs.
Most watchers of government might have suspected that restructures and redundancies were used to quietly get rid of the worst performers. Some have seen it first hand. Now, it's official.