Pacific Media Watch

31 July 2017

AUSTRALIA: Public interest journalism at a 'crossroads', says MEAA

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Desolate newsrooms may become more common with public interest journalism at a "crossroads" thanks to social media. Image: MEAA

AUCKLAND (MEAA/Pacific Media Watch): Australia's Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) says public interest journalism is at a "crossroads" in its submission to the country's Senate inquiry into the future of the form.

The union for Australian media workers therefore feels it is time for the government to step in and support independent journalism in order to preserve democracy.

"The digital disruption that has transformed the media has shaken everything we knew about out industry.

"There is no certainty. The audience is fragmented," the MEAA noted in a statement.

The MEAA's submission details the blow the internet and social media has dealt journalism in Australia, robbing media of its revenue -- part of a growing global trend.

A series of recommendations have also been made to the Senate inquiry, namely around increases in funding and the establishment of further protections.

However, the MEAA acknowledges there is no "magic bullet" which will restore the media to its former glory of six years ago.

'No going back'
"Digital disruption has and will continue to reshape the industry. There is no going back." 

This may mean the industry undergoes more hardships as improvements are potentially made, the MEAA says. 

"It is true that, unless something urgent and comprehensive is done the media will continue to collapse.

"It is time for government to foster, encourage, promise and support the media so that it can continue to function for all Australians."

The MEAA's submission to the public interest journalism inquiry comes amid increasing surveillance attempts on the media by the Turnbull government as previously reported by Pacific Media Watch.

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