Disappearing newspapers cause media inquiry

by Samantha Yap

Federal government introduces media inquiry to battle with pressures of increasing online readership and dying newspapers.

Newspapers: no longer in use. Image: Samantha Yap

The Australian Federal Government has announced an independent media inquiry to regulate print media, particularly online publication, in a race against the end of newspaper circulations.

The government believes this inquiry will ensure that Australian news media continues to serve public interest in this digital age.

Monash University’s Head of Journalism, Professor Chris Nash says around the next decade some Australian cities will no longer have a daily newspaper, as has already happened in a number of major American cities.

In this digital age, online news is easily accessible. Image: Samantha Yap

“Upon the death or retirement of Rupert Murdoch there’s a very high chance that News Limited will off load a lot of its print outlets,” says Nash

“In the US newspapers are closing down and going online all the time,” says Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy.

In 2008, top 10 US online newspapers saw a 27 per cent increase of overall visits.

“The inquiry will… assess the effectiveness of the current media codes of practice in Australia particularly in light of technological change,” says Conroy.

The Convergence review will assess matters raised in this inquiry early next year.

Former Justice of the Federal Court of Australia, Ray Finkelstein QC will be conducting the inquiry.

From 2007 to 2008, top 10 US newspapers saw an overall 16 per cent increase in overall unique visitors. Graph: Samantha Yap Data Source: http://bit.ly/p5Fpp1 Image Source: http://bit.ly/prH2eZ