Treasury Laws Amendment (News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code) Bill 2020

Holly Friedlander Liddicoat, 21st January 2021
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In April 2020, the Australian Government announced it had directed the ACCC to develop a mandatory code of conduct to address bargaining power imbalances between Australian news media businesses and Google and Facebook. 

This landmark decision recognises the challenges news media businesses face in securing ongoing revenue from traditional sources. Digital platforms have disrupted how consumers access news and/or market their wares.

Community broadcasters are not immune to the effects of digital disruption - as more sponsors pay digital platforms to market their materials online. As sponsorship revenue is diverted to online platforms, the costs associated with running a community radio station have also evolved.

Community and listener expectations have changed right across the media industry - community radio listeners now expect stations to be online, offer on-demand services, podcasts, live streams, DAB+ digital radio services, be available on apps, on social media, and provide relevant and trustworthy local and national news. This is particularly so in communities where other news outlets have ceased local operations. Accordingly, community radio station personnel require the training and support to develop and enhance their operational and business acumen, and their management capabilities, to adapt to this evolving landscape.

The CBAA in partnership with First Nations Media Australia continues to engage with Government regarding the News Media Bargaining Code to ensure community broadcasters are included and fairly remunerated for unique news creation.

In December 2020, the CBAA and FNMA made a submission to the Senate Standing Committees on Economics inquiry into Treasury Laws Amendment (News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code) Bill 2020.

  • This submission highlights key points of what was jointly provided to the ACCC in August.
  • It follows a joint submission to the ACCC’s Concepts Paper on a Mandatory News Media Bargaining Code in July.

For any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Holly Friedlander Liddicoat (holly.friedlander@cbaa.org.au) in the first instance.

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