Why does Australia need more of a media revolution?
Australia needs to be more open and digital-friendly, according to a new report from the ABC.
The report, Media Lab: A Report to Restore Democracy in the Age of Digital, calls for a major cultural transformation to boost the nation’s media industry, and its ability to influence public policy.
It recommends that the Australian government consider an Australian-led, international, digital-driven media revolution.
“Australia is a country with an ageing population, and many of its citizens are not yet well-informed about the issues facing their communities,” the report said.
Australian media has been hit hard by a rise in misinformation, cyber attacks and political manipulation.
This year, ABC News published a major investigation into the so-called “fake news” phenomenon that has seen the broadcaster’s editorial staff exposed as liars, and some publications suspended.
But the report also warns of a growing gap between the number of Australians who subscribe to Australian newspapers and those who don’t.
“[A]s the Australian population grows older, the number and reach of Australians’ newspapers is decreasing,” the authors wrote.
While the report did not identify specific targets, it urged that Australia consider a wide range of initiatives to ensure that the country’s media is more open to all Australians, particularly in light of the ongoing election campaign.
ABC Fact Check’s senior political correspondent Michael Walker said that while the report highlighted a need for an international media revolution, the government was not likely to take a dramatic action to address it.
He said that Australia was “in the midst of a digital revolution”.
“The digital revolution has really been a transformative moment for Australian journalism, and we’re in the midst … of a new era for Australian media in the 21st century,” Mr Walker said.
“We’re starting to see a new wave of new journalists coming into the profession, and this is a big moment in that.”