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Joint submission on the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code

Frieda Lee, 18th May 2022

The Community Broadcasting Association of Australia, First Nations Media Australia and the Local & Independent News Association prepared a joint submission reviewing the operation of the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code from the perspective of independent, community-based news publishers and broadcasters. 

We welcomed the review’s intention to interrogate whether the Code has delivered outcomes consistent with its underlying objective of helping to support the sustainability of public interest journalism in Australia. We highlighted the critical role our sectors play in deliver hyperlocal, local and national news to millions of people nationally. We also emphasised the significant employment and opportunities we create for journalists and our role as a conduit for skills and training in the media industry.

We explained that the code has had minimal impact on our sectors and outlined the considerable challenges to smaller media organisations in utilising the Code. These include:

  • the burden of registering for the Code and engaging in the bargaining process;
  • our capacity to undertake complex commercial negotiations;
  • the lack of transparency around how the platforms put a value on the content they are paying for;
  • the absence of our Codes of Practice from the Professional Standards Test; and
  • the need to lower the threshold for the Revenue Test to $75,000 per annum.

We did not make recommendations but asked that the review consider how the Code or other forms of support made available by digital platforms can provide some recognition to community broadcasters, First Nations media organisations and hyperlocal publishers to ensure our newsrooms remain sustainable and are able to keep delivering hyperlocal, local and national news to millions of people across Australia into the future.

Our submission can be accessed on our Submissions Page.

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Last week the CBAA highlighted the critical role our sector plays in producing independent, original, local and hyperlocal news at a roundtable discussion on the Review of the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code.


2022 was a big year in advocacy for the CBAA. We have worked hard to ensure that community broadcasting is front of mind in any government process on emergency management, news, and community resilience. We have cemented strong relationships with policy makers across the political spectrum and secured ongoing funding vital to the sector’s ability to stay on air.

Here is a snapshot of our advocacy efforts and impacts over 2022.


The Federal Government has kicked off a number of processes to enhance media’s role in producing local information, combating misinformation and strengthening communities. These include the Government’s development of a News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code, its media diversity inquiryradiocommunications legislation amendments and more – all with which the CBAA has been actively engaging.