Media Ownership and Regulation
In this unit students
Examine the role of the media in democratic societies.
Identify and understand the nature of Media Ownership in Australia
Investigate and understand why media ownership and diversity is important in a democracy
Examine the rules for media ownership in Australia
Examine the debate about the diversity of media ownership and its relevance to democracy
Investigation One :
Your investigation will first consider your own interactions with the media, before you examine the factors that influence the media’s role in a democracy. Through your investigation you will become aware that ‘freedom of the press’, as an ethic, is not accepted in all societies, and that journalists face many obstacles, and even personal danger, in reporting stories about powerful organisations and people. You will also realise that, while the media is a source of power, it is also open to powerful controls, and that both of these can have an effect on democratic societies.
A Media Owner is a person, enterprise or organisation that controls, either through personal ownership or a dominant position, any media enterprise.
Owning or controlling a media outlet or corporation is considered to be a very powerful position, as it potentially enables the control of information and the shaping of popular opinion.
In this section, you will investigate the rules for media ownership in Australia, and examine the debate about the Diversity of media ownership and its relevance to Democracy.
The Media in a Democracy
A free, open and diverse media that has the unrestricted power to inform the population on issues of public interest has always been a crucial component of a functioning democracy. A free and diverse media sector can enforce transparency and accessibility in politics and can help to ensure that leaders within government and business are accountable for their actions.
In countries that are not democracies, or that do not share Australia’s liberal democratic principles, the media operates under restrictions with respect to what it can report. Editors and journalists may face gaol, or worse, if they report unfavourably on the government, politicians, or other powerful interests, such as businesses or corporations.
Download, and read the article and write responses to the following questions: You may work in a group to discuss resonses to the questions
1.What impressions do the stories give you of the purpose of journalism and the news media?
2.What are the responsibilities of journalism?
3.Make a list of the main opponents of press freedom in the article, and explain how and why they seek to influence the media?
Reporting and presenting your findings
1. Discuss your responses to the questions with members of your group and complete your answers
2.Conduct an internet search to find 2 articles about violations of citizens rights and the media then write a 300 word newspaper article based on one of the following statements.
(a) In the battle to protect freedom of speech, journalists are the first line of defence.
(b) The extent to which a society is democratic can be measured by the degree of freedom the media enjoys
Upload and submit your Analysis Task
Diversity – A range of viewpoints and ideas that represent all people
Democracy- Government of the people by the people for the people