News Corp controls nearly 60% of print – new report
Ahead of today’s ongoing senate inquiry into media diversity, a new report, commissioned by Get Up!, has found that “our media is more concentrated than ever”.
News Corp controls 59% of metro and national print media markets by ownership – up from 25% in 1984, according to the report, authored by Benedetta Brevini and Michael Ward from the University of Sydney.
News Corp also earns 40% of total Australian television revenues.
And three companies together (News Corp, Nine and Southern Cross Media) control 90% of metro radio licenses.
Brevini, an associate professor of communication said this represented “unmatched levels of media concentration”.
“Australia is in a media emergency and immediate action must be taken to safeguard our democracy.
“This alarming level of media concentration is compounded by a systemic lack of
transparency and public accountability is plaguing our media sector.”
NSW police rejected Skype interview and SA police statement from Porter accuser
New South Wales police passed up an offer by South Australian police to take a statement alleging sexual assault against Christian Porter – apparently without putting the option to the alleged victim – new documents reveal.
The police also rejected a request from Porter’s accuser to take her statement via Skype and alternatives were not pursued because the alleged victim seemed “resigned” to Covid-19 interruptions to travel delaying it until September.
Paul Karp has the story:
Lyle Shelton to replace Fred Nile in NSW parliament
The former head of the Australian Christian Lobby, Lyle Shelton, has been picked by NSW MP Fred Nile to replace him in state parliament when the latter retires.
Nile, the founder of the Christian Democratic party, announced late last night that he would retire this November from his role as a member of the Legislative Council.
Nile recommended that Shelton, one of the leaders of the no campaign during the same-sex marriage postal plebiscite, take his place and this was “unanimously” approved by the party’s state board.
“The need for unashamedly Christian voices in public life has only increased in recent years and I can think of no one better than Mr Shelton to carry this forward,” Nile said.
Shelton said he was “honoured that Rev Nile and the CDP state board have recommended that I succeed him in the NSW parliament and lead the party into the future”.
After leaving the ACL in 2018, Shelton worked as the federal communications director of Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives, which was deregistered a year later by Bernardi after winning no seats at the federal election.
Nile was first elected to the NSW Legislative Council in 1981 and is the longest-serving current sitting member of the parliament.
No timeline for Covid vaccine rollout, Morrison concedes
There is no longer any set timeline for all Australians to receive their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, Scott Morrison has said.
Previously, the prime minister had set a target that all Australians would receive their first dose by October. The government also aimed for 4 million doses by the end of March, but this was later revised to the end of April, and we are behind both targets.
AAP reports that approximately 1.1m doses have been administered, but Morrison has refused to set a target for the rollout.
“The government has … not set, nor has any plans to set any new targets for completing first doses,” he said.
“While we would like to see these doses completed before the end of the year, it is not possible to set such targets given the many uncertainties involved.”
The vaccine program has been hit with delays due to international supply issues, natural disasters such as the NSW floods, and errors – with many GPs offices complaining of poor organisation.
Late last week, the rollout was further delayed with the recommendation from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (Atagi) that Pfizer was prefered to AstraZeneca for people under 50 due to the risk of rare blood clots.
Australia has a contract for 20m doses of Pfizer, but not all of it has arrived – and recently announced a further 20m will arrive, but not before the final quarter of the year.
Read the full story here:
Ben Roberts-Smith to continue in Seven Network job
Former soldier Ben Roberts-Smith will continue in his role at the Seven Network, according to a statement issued by the channel late last night.
Last night Nine’s 60 Minutes and Nine Newspapers published a series of joint reports about the former Victoria Cross recipient – who is suing Nine and reporter Nick McKenzie for defamation.
“Mr Roberts-Smith denies that he has engaged in any unlawful conduct and he will not be intimidated by Mr McKenzie or Nine into not continuing with the Federal Court proceedings against them,” the statement said.
Roberts-Smith will continue as Seven’s Queensland managing director, the channel said:
Insofar as most of the material aired is old, Seven notes that it is before the federal court and the court process should be respected. Insofar as new allegations are made they do not appear to be supported by evidence.
In the circumstances Seven does not need to reconsider its position concerning Mr Roberts Smith and him continuing in his position.
Good morning everyone, and welcome back to our Australian news live blog. It’s Monday, and it’s Naaman Zhou here with you.
The Seven Network has issued a statement that it will not stand down former soldier Ben Roberts-Smith after a piece aired last night on Nine’s 60 Minutes and published in the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age.
“Seven Network notes the denial by its Seven Queensland Managing Director Ben Roberts Smith VC of the allegations aired by Nine on 60 Minutes last night and as further published in the Nine newspapers,” the channel said.
“As most of the material aired is old, Seven notes that it is before the Federal Court and the court process should be respected. Insofar as new allegations are made they do not appear to be supported by evidence.”
Elsewhere, Scott Morrison has said the government will no longer set any date target for vaccinations after the pace of our rollout was thrown further into uncertainty last week.
Stay with us for all the latest as it happens.