Glen Boreham presentation to CPRF 7 Nov 2011

Below are my notes on the presentation by Glen Boreham, Chair of the Convergence Review, to the Communications Policy and Research Forum, held on Sydney on Monday 7 November.

Please note that these are my personal notes; they are not reflective of any views I may hold as Chair of the ALRC Review of the National Classification Scheme.

Glen Boreham, keynote presentation to CPRF 2011

Convergence Review

* no longer clear who media rules apply to in context of convergence – legislation of 20 years ago is now out of date e.g Internet viewing of video from TVs

* legislation of 1990s was designed to achieve “silo-ed” public policy objectives e.g. Broadcasting Services Act saw TV as uniquely powerful in shaping culture and society

* switch to digital-only TV and Rollout of NBN have further implications

* problem of continually updating existing legislation to changes – BSA was 100 pages in 1992 – now 1000 pages

* Australian content in convergent environment – differs across platforms – do these differences continue to be relevant

* Main Challenges (“big rocks”)

– media diversity – cross-media/competition rules
– local content in multi-platform environment
– community standards incl. advertising, accuracy in news

* bottom-up rebuild of BSA required – new legislation – may focus on layers rather. Than industry-specific rules

* regulatory parity: like services regulated in a like way – “content is content” regardless of platform

* there may be cases where some platforms should be treated differently e.g. TV time zones

* community expectations continue to have a role – higher restrictions for Tv as compared to other platforms

* need for adaptable legislation – new regimes may need to be effective into the 2030s

* transparency: addressing political compromises that now create deep inefficiencies – discriminatory treatment needs to be visible and transparent

* Final Report
– media diversity, competition and market structure
– spectrum allocation and management
– community standards
– Australian and local content
– layering, licensing and regulation

* independent Media Inquiry reporting in Feb 2012 – Convergence Review in March 2012

* there has not yet been an equivalent inquiry in another country

* draft review in Dec 2011

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About Terry Flew

I am Professor of Media and Communication in the Creative Industries Faculty at the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia. I am the author of New Media: An Introduction, the fourth edition of which was published by Oxford University Press in 2014. I am also the author of Understanding Global Media, published by Palgrave in 2007, and The Creative Industries, Culture and Policy, published by Sage in 2012.