Tuesday 16 August 2011

Julia Gillard set to limit scope of media inquiry, rejecting wide-ranging probe urged by Greens

Julia Gillard addresses the first ministerial meeting of the new parliamentary sitting.
Picture: Ray Strange Source: The Australian

JULIA Gillard has indicated to Labor MPs that she won't back a wide-ranging inquiry into the Australian media being urged by the Greens.
In the first meeting of the Labor caucus since the parliamentary recess, the Prime Minister narrowed the scope of any parliamentary examination of the media to just two issues - the right to privacy and the convergence of media types as a result of technology.

Both issues are already under discussion; the government has established an independent review of media convergence while a discussion paper has been launched on the right to privacy.

Ms Gillard said she was “appalled” by the News of the World scandal in the United Kingdom, but there was no evidence of phone hacking or similar practices being used by Australian journalists.

She said she was satisfied at the process adopted by News Limited, publisher of The Australian, which had commenced an independently-oversighted review of editorial practices.

Mr Murphy said there had been an “evasion of responsibility” by the owners and management of the News of the World, and expressed concern at the reporting of the scandal by News Limited mastheads in Australia.

The Greens are pushing for an inquiry into all aspects of the media including media ownership and alleged “bias”.

Greens leader Bob Brown last week urged a “free-ranging” media inquiry but admitted it would not force media ownership changes.

Senator Brown was due to discuss his call for a media inquiry with Communications Minister Stephen Conroy this week

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