Governments should keep their mitts off the media, according to Laurie Oakes. Oakes, arguably Australian’s most eminent political correspondent, told the annual Press Freedom Day dinner in Sydney the Australian government had not produced compelling reasons for legislating new media controls.
The press coverage of the inquiry into Australian media exemplified what was wrong, Julian Disney, the Chair of the Australian Press Council said tonight. “It was very one sided,” he said.
Professor Disney was speaking at a forum organised in Sydney by the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism to discuss the Finkelstein report. The inquiry recommended a government funded institution to require press accountability.
There was insufficient information in the press about what was actually in the report, Disney said. “You had to go online to get a half way decent description of what was in it”. There was “no significant attempt” by most news papers to get the views of ordinary people.