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Australian Media Regulation: Essay Writing Assignment- Free Assignment Solution

May 26, 2017
Author : Kristy

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Question: Essay Writing Assignment

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Question: Essay Writing Assignment

Australian Media Regulation

Explain why media regulation and policy are reviewed and changed in response to developments in communication technology, and discuss whether media regulation is necessary in democratic states.

Use a recent (i.e. within the past three years) example of media regulation and policy from AUSTRALIA as the basis for your discussion.

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Solution:

Australian Media Regulation

Access of information is done through different communication components in a country. For instance, the media is used to publish and broadcast any information, whereas, the internet and other social media devices are used for personal advantage and accessing of materials online. Therefore, media can be defined as means employed to communicate any matter to the public. It is an information component, and it includes, the press, radio, and TV. The country has a role in safeguarding its citizens from any harmful material by the media. Thus, legal bodies are

established to administrate the communication sector to ensure no negative or dangerous materials gets into the public. According to (Lamb 2013), regulation of the media can either be internal or external, that is from the government or internationally or within the organization. Any communication technology advancement calls for reforms and establishment of new laws to regulate any new material.

In Australia, various media organizations and bodies are tasked with the regulation of what is published and broadcasted. For example, video publications, movies, the game establishment is controlled by the Classification Review Board in the country. The material is classified as including violence, language, drug abuse, nudity, and sexuality. Classification is done to ensure freedom of speech and morality standards are upheld. Also, it is due to the protection of children from any harmful substance. Two classification categories in Australia, media can be used by persons above the age of eighteen (R18+) and by the whole public (General Audience, G). As far as General is concerned, everyone can use the materials from the media irrespective of the age due to lack of obscene substance that requires parental control. Media materials that are Restricted for Adults should not be viewed by children because they may contain some scenes of sex and drug use. Before an Australian purchases a computer game

from a shop or enters a cinema showing R18+ classified film, he/she is asked to provide a proof of their age (Australian Classification, 2016). If the board declares any content or material harmful to the public, it will not be allowed into the country’s market. For instance, the board has banned several video games in Australia such as Manhunt, State of Decay and Phantasmagoria. Manhunt was prohibited from the market because of its high-impact violence that involves torture whereas the Phantasmagoria denied access to the country’s market due to its sexual

assault content.

Another governmental body in Australia established to regulate media activities is the Communication and Media Authority (ACMA). The organ uses codes of practice to control what the information agencies (television and radio) broadcasts daily. Also, it used to regulate the media ownership. Currently, there should be more than five independent media groups in the state, and this is important because it prevents one company from buying another media group. A third body regulating media in the state is the Advertising Standards Board. Unlike the other first

organs that are federal government controls, the organization offers free services regarding consumer complaints about advertisements. For example, if an individual feels that a particular sample is too violent, he/she should complain to it. Hence, the agency allows the citizens to have the freedom to express their views on any substance from the media that affects them. This is a good way of governing media in a country.

The world is experiencing rapid development in technology, and therefore, countries have the responsibility to protect their citizens from any harmful information. For instance, Australia has various bodies that assist in regulating the content from the media to the public. There are numerous reasons to have regulating organs in the society. First, protection of intellectually property rights such as copyrights. In Australia, there are legal frameworks that have been established to prohibit the citizens, especially kids from copying foods and beverages that are being advertised. Also, there is a concern on Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing on how suicidal content is presented to the public. The organization claims that presentation of such information to the citizens can affect their perception, therefore, being dangerous to them. For example, Dr. Carr-Gregg a psychologist based in Melbourne, states that the Australian youths are in danger due to how the media normalizes suicide incidents (Gregor 2016).A quantitative and qualitative research was carried out by The National Suicide Prevention Strategy on suicidal copycat, and it was found out that there is high chances the public copying any suicide information from the media. Therefore, it can be established that it is essential to control the media to protect the citizens of the country.

Secondly, the children need to be protected from any content that is harmful to their young and developing the brain. Technology has designed and led to many challenges in regulating the media. It is one of the contemporary issues that every state is concerned about and therefore, regulations have been established to control it. For instance, the internet is one of the technology developments that is accessible to everyone according to the choice, affordability, and accessibility of its contents. Therefore, children are at high risk of obtaining harmful

materials from the internet and cyber bullying (Lievens 2010, p. 5). To avoid the named issue, the Australian government has put measures to control any content from media or online networks. Also, the parents are advanced to protect their children from inappropriate information that can destroy the kids.

Another reason for regulation of the information system in Australia is the protection of its diverse culture. The nation is comprised of different cultures, and the diversification can be witnessed through the luxurious lifestyle of the people, food, and other practices. The protection will ensure that the rich and diversified culture is continued, and the Australians are proud of their state. For instance, there is a lively, innovative and energized environment in the country due to the many cultures (Clarity Communication Pty Ltd 2016).

Lastly, the state requires protecting the diversity of the information sector. For instance, there should be more than five media groups as stated by ACMA. This is to ensure that there is no monopoly in the communication market or merging of media organizations (Australian Communications and Meadia Authority 2015). Promotion of independent and diverse media will ensure that the public can get unbiased information, and it has the freedom to access communication content without any restriction (Smith 2011, p.8). It will also prevent any influence of politicians on the material being released to the public, thus, enhancement of quality information to the citizens.

Independence of in the communication industry is a requirement for any country that exercises democracy. The independence will assist to limit any political influence that may lead to insufficient information reaching the citizens. In a bid to ensure there is no unbiased communication reaching the public, the information sector should not be monopolized. It should be left free and open for any individual who wants to own a media house. However, regulations have to be established by the information authorities to make sure that any communication in the public does not negatively impact on the citizens (The AIM Network, 2014). A country needs its population to be informed and educated on current affairs and any issue in the country and globe, but not all information is useful for the people especially in security matters and development of the economy.

A research was performed and controlled by Prof. Eli Noam of Columbia University to find out how media was regulated internationally. The survey focused on 26 countries including Australia. In Australia, it was observed that the communication sector especially the print media was concentrated on few organizations. For example, the News Corp monopolized the market by having the highest number of publication in a day (59%) and weekly (17.3million newspapers). He carried out a comparison between Australia’s News Corp and UK’s The Times and The Sun and found out that, the UK's newspaper accounted only for 24% of the total production and sold in the country (The AIM Network, 2014). Therefore, it can be evidenced that the country's media market is a monopolistic type of business and thus, going against the role of the constitution in communication; hence, the need to control the country’s media so that freedom of expression and access to information is made available to the whole public and ensure democracy in the nation.

In summary, technological advancements in the communications sector make media review and control necessary. In Australia, media control is carried out by Classification review Board, Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA), and Advertising Standards Board. It is used to prevent the prevention of violation of copyrights, protect children from harmful media content, protect the country's cultural identity, therefore, preserving the Australian media diversity. Although Australia is a democratic country, the country’s media should be reviewed and regulated to ensure that it provides citizens with unbiased information and education.

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