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Home Features Tom Burton: 2Day, effective regulation isn’t a reality show
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DEPARTMENTSAustralian Communications and Media Authority, Department of Communications and the Arts
TAGS Australian Communications and Media Authority, Australian media, Bruce McWilliam, Deregulation, Foxtel, Free TV Australia, Kerry Stokes, Malcolm Turnbull, media, regulation, Southern Cross Austereo
Media operators aren’t mature enough to figure out how to regulate themselves. And politicians are too scared to get in the middle. Our former ACMA man on why effective regulation is a long way off.
In the world of media regulation it was once fashionable among libertarian commentators to declare that no one ever died from the media.
After the tragic suicide of nurse Jacintha Saldanha, that comment is no longer heard.
Her death followed the broadcast in early December 2012 by Sydney radio station 2Day FM of a prank call to the London hospital where Princess Kate was suffering from her first pregnancy. Thinking about media atrocities over many years, it’s hard to come up with a more egregious abuse of media power. And for what — a few temporary blips of ratings love on a FM media-buying plan.
The whole tawdry affair says a lot about how modern Australian media and regulation work.
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Tom Burton is publisher of The Mandarin based in Sydney. He has served in various public administration roles, specialising in digital engagement. He was a Walkley Award-winning journalist and executive editor of The Sydney Morning Herald. He worked as Canberra bureau chief for the Australian Financial Review and as managing editor of smh.com.au. He most recently worked at the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
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