Regional media players warn ‘outdated’ laws pose major threat

Former Publisher
Pictured: Lawrence Mooney, Paul Fletcher & Grant Blackley in Canberra

Outdated and obsolete laws put the future of local media at risk, according to a joint release from some regional media businesses including Southern Cross Austereo.

SCA, along with Australian Community Media, Prime Media Group and the WIN Network, have launched the Save Our Voices campaign today. It’s fronted by veteran journalist Ray Martin.

The consortium is aiming to raise awareness of the importance of regional media in local communities, and highlight the need for long-overdue regulatory change.

Failure by the Government to overhaul 30-year-old legislation, they said, threatens to leave 9.2 million regional Australians without the local news services they depend on.

The campaign rolls out today with a series of television, radio and newspaper ads.

There is also a dedicated website featuring interviews conducted by Martin with community figures, industry leaders and politicians from all levels of government.

SCA chief Grant Blackley said 40% of small and medium-sized businesses are located in regional areas and that his team works with 14,000 of them every day.

“We should envision a place where there is a strong and sustainable local voice and where government recognises the contribution from outside the capital cities,” Blackley said.

Together the consortium has submitted a “commercially sustainable, self-funding plan” to government that could help regional media businesses to compete with bigger rivals.

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Brian Smith
12 Oct 2020 - 3:12 pm

The three years I spent in Shepparton, in the sixties were vital for my career. 1964 to 65, and then the chance to open MTN 9 griffith in 1965, then moving to CTC Canberra for three years, 1968 to 1971 then to gtv 9 were vital for my career development, which continued in Melbourne , Apart from the training espects, I met some wonderful people over the journey

12 Oct 2020 - 5:36 pm

Brian … Hawke stuffed all that with aggregation … and then Keating turned the knife with the abolition of the “two-station” rule … we’ll never get it back irrespective of what they do now …

Come on guys
13 Oct 2020 - 8:14 am

Many regional media owners have systematically gutted their on-air, news, production, traffic and promotion function over the past two decades chasing a bump in profit year on year. The chickens are home and they plan to roost.

The laws are fine, your business model is flawed. Locals don’t want you because there are no locals involved. Period. With audience goes revenue.

The government shouldn’t be cowering to bloated holding companies with their thinly veiled threat that 9.2 million Australians will miss out on vital media services. When in all honesty they’d get better service with a paper cup and string in many instances.

13 Oct 2020 - 9:37 am

If SCA were to re install local breakfast shows they might do better in regional
Great opportunity for Grant Broadcasters and Ace. The SCA revenue lost of switching to state wide shows will be enourmous.

13 Oct 2020 - 10:20 am

That’s rich coming from those guys.

They’ve been downsizing local media for years to increase revenue.

Now that that their profits are drying up, they come all concerned for the local media.

Too little, too late.

Enjoy your bonuses while your employees are on jobkeeper.

You can only screw over so many employees before it comes back to bite you on the arse.


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