Mr. Monopoly Man

The ownership and control of Australian media is highly contested property within commercial and political markets currently. The media market is experiencing strong competition on both domestic and international fronts for the ownership of both media content and as platforms for such content. The issue of ownership of both media materials and as a platform for communication features prominently in public and political debate in Australian society. As such, policy as an issue is also experiencing prominent attention of late. Policy can be understood as a framework for function. It is a set of guidelines or restrictions which indicate or indeed dictate the conduct, operation or usage of a specified item. Notably therefore, media policy is elemental in determining the form of the media industry and the direction in which it heads. One of the primary reasons for the recent scrutiny of Australian media policy is the recent media phenomena of digital content streaming. This refers to the tendency for digital media items to be created in order to exist independently of a particular media platform. In this way, the media product is multipurposeable, and has a higher propensity for profitable returns for the media owners. This is of considerable import within the commercially dominated media market. With such commercial incentive for media control and ownership, the necessity for policy which will effectively uphold media quality, diversity and integrity, while balancing the needs of both audiences and media stakeholders becomes apparent.

Murray, S. 2005, ‘Think Global, Act Global: Corporate content streaming and Australian media policy’, Media International Australia incorporating Culture and Policy, no. 116, pp. 100-116.

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