User:Amelialindsay/Australian media inquiry suggests new press tribunal

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Australian media could be subject to a new legal tribunal after suggestions the current regulatory body, the Australian Press Council, should be replaced.

The issue, raised in a paper released on Wednesday, called for comment regarding whether the press should be subject to a new set of laws under the tribunal. The move is part of an official media inquiry currently being held by the Federal Government.

Primary backer of the inquiry, Senator Stephen Conroy, believes the industry driven Australian Press Council does not have enough power to properly regulate the media.

"The press council has been considered right across the board as a toothless tiger," he said.

The new tribunal would have the power to request information from the media. Strict sanctions could be subsequently imposed by the body if outlets failed to act accordingly. The government inquiry also included suggestions to ban sourcing material through 'unfair means' and enforcing the public notification of any instance where payments for information were made.

Questions regarding common regulation for print, broadcast and online media were also raised in the paper which states, “Is there any reason why the regulation of the print media should be different from the regulation of broadcast or online media?”

However, critics of the inquiry believe increased control of the media in Australia would create oppression and breach the basic human right of free speech.

The government inquiry continues.