On Thursday 28th June the Australian Financial Review reported the Gillard government wants to introduce a ‘public interest test’ that allows it to pick and choose who is allowed to invest in media companies in Australia.
The Gillard government is also considering a government-funded super-regulator for the media that would impose what politicians consider to be ‘balance’ and ‘fairness’. This anti-democratic idea would allow the government to select those who are supposed to be holding them to account. It comes from the Finkelstein Inquiry recommendations that are an attack on freedom of speech and a free press.
Finkelstein’s proposals included awarding a new government regulator the power to censor news by forcing media outlets to remove material from the internet. They would apply not just to major news outlets but also magazines and even blogs. Membership of the regulator would be compulsory – amounting to licensing of newspapers by stealth. And there’s only one reason why a government would give a newspaper a license to print news – so that the government can take it away again.
The Left takes this seriously. Enemies of freedom of speech have already bombarded politicians with demands to regulate the media until it becomes more compliant to their agenda. And they’ve bombarded private media companies with demands to block prospective owners who have the ‘wrong views’.
Imagine how the Left would react if a conservative government proposed the sorts of controls on the media that the Gillard government and the Greens want.
We need your help to fight back.
Click here right now to email our politicians and our media companies to tell them that you will not tolerate an attack on your right to hear alternative points of view. You won’t tolerate attacks on the media by a government intent on silencing its critics.
Once you’ve sent an email, here’s three more things you can do to help defend a free press and free speech in Australia:
- You can help support the Institute of Public Affairs’ Freedom of Speech Fighting Fund – to defend against these and other attacks on free speech.
- You can become a member of the Institute of Public Affairs and join nearly 2,000 other Australians concerned about the attacks on our freedoms.
- You can buy Chris Berg’s new book, In Defence of Freedom of Speech: From Ancient Greece to Andrew Bolt to learn more about why free speech matters and why it must be defended.