Content needs self-regulation

May 06, 2011

A new report by UNSW’s Journalism and Media Research Centre argues that Australia’s media content regulation system is broken and that it is time for a full review to manage content in the 21st century.

The report, The Adaptive Moment: A Fresh Approach to Convergent Media in Australia, was launched in Sydney.

Authors, Associate Professor Kate Crawford and Professor Catharine Lumby, say Australia is lagging behind other Western democracies and that we need to move away from a top-down approach to a much stronger focus on self-regulation.

A key recommendation of the report is that media users should have much stronger input into media governance. It recommends the establishment of a Convergent Media Board to allow users to work with industry and government to provide a national forum for dialogue on policy issues.

“The Convergent Media Board would give users an opportunity to work with industry and government to balance the risks and opportunities of the convergent media era. Media users are now increasingly media producers and they need to have a say in how content is managed both at the industry and government level,” says Professor Lumby.

The Board would not be a complaints-based body. It would work co-operatively with the Australian Communications and Media Authority and act as a point of liaison with international organisations and bodies working on governance.

Associate Professor Crawford noted that Australian approaches to content management are still grounded in an era when media was produced by professionals in discreet silos – such as print, radio, and TV.

“The internet is not a new medium,” she said. “It is a new media environment, where all forms of content circulate and are recirculated, marked by an unprecedented diversity of users and producers. We need a fresh and adaptive approach.”

The report also argues that industry needs to commit to monitored and robust codes of practice and that they need to ensure users have the tools to notify inappropriate content and a say in how platforms are developed and data is managed.

A cornerstone of ensuring user agency, according to the report, is a clear commitment by industry and government to funding lifelong education around digital literacy, security and the ethics of media use and production. They argue that both government and industry have a role in resourcing this education and that we need a national curriculum which focuses on these issues.

“We no longer live in a time where governments can exercise a top-down approach to pre-vetting all content and acting as all-seeing gatekeepers,” said Professor Lumby. “We welcome this opportunity to contribute to the Federal Government’s Convergence Review.”

Explore further: Local homicide rate increases cause more elementary students to fail school

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Filtering truth?

Dec 16, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Plans for mandatory internet filtering in Australia may see a wide range of material disappear from computer screens, according to research led by a UNSW academic.

Can ordinary people make money on Twitter?

Mar 09, 2011

Reports this week that celebrities are earning up to $10,000 per tweet on Micro-blogging site Twitter has caught the attention of ordinary social media users who are now asking how they can make money too.

Price 'drives global media piracy'

Mar 21, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Fines and tougher laws are likely to have little impact on the worldwide growth in piracy of movies, music, books and software, copyright experts have warned.

Recommended for you

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Squirrel
not rated yet May 06, 2011
Can someone translate this academic gobbledygook--that is if it behind its hogwash words actually means anything?
frajo
not rated yet May 06, 2011
Smells like censorship lingo.

More news stories

How kids' brain structures grow as memory develops

Our ability to store memories improves during childhood, associated with structural changes in the hippocampus and its connections with prefrontal and parietal cortices. New research from UC Davis is exploring ...

Gate for bacterial toxins found

Prof. Dr. Dr. Klaus Aktories and Dr. Panagiotis Papatheodorou from the Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology of the University of Freiburg have discovered the receptor responsible ...