MICHELLE ROWLAND MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS
MEMBER FOR GREENWAY
JIM CHALMERS MP
MEMBER FOR RANKIN
GREATER CERTAINTY IN THE NEWS MEDIA BARGAINING CODE
It’s good news the Government will be amending its legislation for the News Media Bargaining Code and that, as a consequence, Facebook intends to restore Australian news pages.
Small and regional publishers around the country have been disproportionately impacted by Facebook’s decision to block the sharing of news in Australia, including community broadcasting and First Nations Media.
Over the course of this process, Labor has urged the Government to craft a workable Code that supports the media without undermining Australia’s digital economy or disrupting millions of Australian citizens and small businesses.
From the outset, Labor has provided constructive, in-principle support for a workable Code to address the bargaining power imbalance between digital platforms and Australian news media.
During debate on the Bill, Labor recommended that the Government use precise language as to what designations it intends to make under the Code.
We are pleased that amendments will be moved to provide further clarity on a range of matters. While questions remain, Labor offers support for the amended Code.
We are keen to understand how the amended code will strengthen the hand of regional and small publishers in obtaining fair remuneration for the use of their content, and how the imbalance in bargaining power will be addressed if the Government elects not to designate services under the code.
Australia’s news media needs a workable code to support the sustainability of public interest journalism.
This code is an important step but is only one of a suite of measures recommended by the ACCC in the Final Report of the Digital Platforms Inquiry.
The evidence before the Senate Inquiry into the bill was clear: the government has a lot more to do to support public interest journalism in Australia.
TUESDAY, 23 FEBRUARY 2021