Report of the Independent Inquiry into the Media and Media Regulation

Raymond Finkelstein, Matthew RICKETSON, Rodney Tiffen, Franco Papandrea, Kristen Walker, Chris Young, Graeme Hill

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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The NTRO is a report to government that sits squarely in the field of Communication Studies; Communication is one of the university's signature research fields. The Report of the Independent Media Inquiry was a major national inquiry into the following: the effectiveness of the self-regulatory system for the print news media; whether, in the light of the new communication technologies, there should be one system of regulating media across all platforms, and whether the crumbling business model that has long sustained print media meant government should intervene to encourage new entrants in the market. In September2011 the federal government appointed Raymond Finkelstein QC to chair the inquiry and it appointed me to assist him in all aspects of the inquiry. The government required the report to be delivered less than six months later, which required the hiring of addiitonal people produce the report, which was 468 pages long. The report of the Independent Media Inquiry made a major contribution to new knowledge about media self-regulation and accountability and to the sustainability of quality journalism in the face of threats to the media industry's business model. National inquiries into the operation of the news media are relatively rare in Australia. Inquiries into the effectiveness of accountability mechanisms are even rarer. By comparison, reports about media accountability in the United Kingdom are more common, culminating in the Leveson inquiry, which was set up in mid-2011 in the wake of the phone hacking scandal. The report of the media inquiry has been referred to by the Leveson inquiry in its first report, in late 2012, and has fed into international scholarship comparing the performance and effectiveness of Press Councils globally, notably by Lara Fielden in her 2013 publication "A Royal Charter for the Press: How does it measure up to regulation overseas?". This NTRO did not arise from a category 1-4 funding application. However, work I did for the media inquiry has enabled me to initiate and be part of research teams that have applied for Cetegory 1-4 funding through the following: 1. An Office of Learning and Teaching grant application in 2013 for a project about developing national curriculum materials for the teaching of investigative journalism in Australia. I am one of four researchers in this application. The connection between the NTRO and the application was the work done in Chapter 12 of the media inquiry report, "Changing business models and government support". 2. An Australian Research Council Linkage grant application in 2013 and an ARC Discovery grant application in 2014 that was developed from the Linkage grant application. These grant applications examined the implications of the largescale redundancies in Australian newsrooms in 2012 for quality journalism and for the adapting of journalism practice to the digital age. Both these applications grew out of the work done for chapter 12 in the media inquiry report. I am one of five Chief Investigators in these ARC projects. The media inquiry led to me being invited and to giving keynote addresses at the 2012 Australian and New Zealand Communication Association conference and the 2012 Journalism Education of Australia conference. The media inquiry report was the subject of much media commentary and has begun to be discussed in the academic literature.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherDepartment of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy
Number of pages474
ISBN (Print)9780642754240
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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