New, independent research commissioned by Save Our Voices has found that 86% of regional Australians agree that having access to local TV news bulletins is important or very important.
But despite being such a highly valued service, the future of regional news services is at risk.
Outdated media laws are preventing regional broadcasters from competing fairly with major metro media, internet services, and Pay TV operating in regional markets. Designed in a pre-internet era, the 23 year old rules apply to regional broadcasters but ignore all other media platforms that have emerged since the rule was introduced.
The uneven playing field is impacting heavily on the ability of regional broadcasters to compete with new media players, and maintain investment in local news services.
Local news services can remain viable if Federal Parliament passes legislation to update the current Broadcasting Services Act and bring media laws into the 21st Century.
Email your local MP to let them know that regional news services matter to you, and request they support media reform.
What can your local MP do?
Your local MP can help protect the future of local news by supporting media law reform.
Specifically, they can support the repeal of two rules in the current Broadcasting Services Act:
- The ‘reach’ rule prevents any broadcaster from reaching more than 75% of the population. It is now redundant because metro broadcasters, internet news services and Pay TV use subscription services or online channels to reach 100% of the nation.
- The ‘two out of three’ rule, prevents a company or individual from owning newspapers, television and radio outlets in a licence area. It ignores all other platforms that have emerged since 1992 when the rule was introduced.