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Senate Inquiry into Media Diversity established

The Greens have successfully established an inquiry into media diversity with the support of the Senate today.

Greens Spokesperson for Media and Communications Senator Sarah Hanson-Young who is chair of the Environment and Communications References Committee which will conduct the inquiry said:

“The Senate has today agreed to the Greens motion to establish an inquiry into media diversity in this country.

“It’s clear from the half a million signatures on the record-breaking petition for a Royal Commission into media diversity that Australians are very concerned about the concentration of media ownership and the power and political influence of Murdoch. As a Parliament it was right that we acted on those concerns.

“The media landscape in Australia has been changing rapidly. We need to ensure we have a strong and independent public interest news industry to support our democracy.

“We are losing the diversity of media voices across the country and access to news and public interest journalism in some regions altogether. The loss of media outlets and the increasing pressure faced by small and independent publishers is bad for our democracy and should be given the attention it deserves.

“The dominance of Facebook and Google has been ever increasing and this inquiry will also provide an opportunity for a proper consideration of how that is impacting media diversity.

“The US election has highlighted the need for truth in journalism and the need to call out unsubstantiated and false claims. Before we head into another election period in Australia we can now take a proper look at the state of media diversity here and help protect a pillar of our democracy.”

The inquiry will open for public submissions soon with details available on the Environment and Communications Committee website.

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