Is it my imagination, or is no one else worried about the state of media ownership since the Howard Government passed its new bill, almost without scrutiny?
Thanks to Larvatus Prodeo I’ve seen this piece by Barnaby Joyce in The Age, and again in the Oz, and I’ve got to say, the world becomes a scary place when you find yourself agreeing with a National Party Senator! Good ol’ Barny lays it into Stephen Fielding, the Family First Senator from VIC (You remember him? He’s the guy who gave us VSU, so that a single mum studying nursing doesn’t have to subsidise some jock’s gym membership. Pity that nursy no longer has subsidised child-care, free counselling, academic support, or advocacy when her uni kicks for out for missing lectures because her kid has measles.)
On the news last night Helen Coonan, Federal Minister for Communication expressed some surprise about the feeding frenzy that immediately formed around free-to-air TV and what’s left of the nations newspapers, but just in case Graeme Samuel’s thinly veiled threats in last weekend’s Oz (sorry, can’t find the link among all those carefully balanced articles by Paul Kelly, Greg Sheridan and Caroline Overton) to get in the way if he perceives that there is too much media concentration, the ACCC have only been given 40 days to review any media mergers.
Nice one, John! A bit late though: this was supposed to be payback to Kerry Packer for his buying you the 1996 election!