- NYPD sergeant who watched Eric Garner die punished with lost vacation days 7 Years Ago
- Brie Larson haters have a meltdown over a joke about Thor’s hammer 7 Years Ago
- This comedian attempted to make fun of women on Twitter—and it did not go over well 7 Years Ago
- Logan Paul wants to help the Amazon rainforest 7 Years Ago
- Nutaku announces redesign and filters for LGBTQ porn games Today 12:25 PM
- This video of dozens of inflatable mattresses taking off in the wind is perfect Today 12:20 PM
- Reddit mods restore Tiananmen Square image after censorship claims Today 12:18 PM
- Billie Eilish parody takes dad jokes to a whole new level Today 11:52 AM
- How to stream Eagles vs. Ravens in NFL preseason action Today 11:26 AM
- How to create your very own Instagram hoax Today 11:15 AM
- ‘Spider-Man’ fans want to ‘storm’ Sony’s office in New York to protest him leaving the MCU Today 11:13 AM
- White House proposing ‘Minority Report’-style office to use data to predict crime Today 11:12 AM
- Streamer OnlyUseMeBlade accused of sexually assaulting a sleeping woman Today 10:50 AM
- How to stream Raiders vs. Packers in NFL preseason action Today 10:07 AM
- Say hello to ‘antira,’ the far-right’s answer to antifa Today 9:28 AM
Australia proposes mass monitoring of blogs
Even blogs that average only 40 pageviews a day may be forced to join the same regulatory body as mainstream newspapers.
A chill went through the Australian blogosphere in Friday as the government released a report recommending that blogs with an annual readership of 15,000 or more be subject to the same regulatory body and rules as mainstream newspapers and other professional media. That’s 40 pageviews a day, for those of you who are counting. Welcome to the big time.
The Independent Media Inquiry stated:
There are many newsletter publishers and bloggers, although no longer part of the ‘lonely pamphleteer’ tradition, who offer up-to-date reflections on current affairs. Quite a number have a very small audience. There are practical reasons for excluding from the definition of ‘news media’ publishers who do not have a sufficiently large audience. If a publisher distributes more than 3000 copies of print per issue or a news internet site has a minimum of 15 000 hits per annum it should be subject to the jurisdiction of the News Media Council, but not otherwise. These numbers are arbitrary, but a line must be drawn somewhere.
Australia has an unusual media landscape. Approximately 70 percent of Australian newspapers are owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Ltd, which has been embroiled in a widespread phone-hacking scandal, among other issues. Currently, newspapers are policed by the Australian Press Council, an association funded by newspapers, in which participation is voluntary. The new recommendations suggest making membership in a new agency mandatory for all significant media outlets, including blogs of moderate to major popularity, and handing the job of funding over to the government.
Predictably, newspapers raised concerns about government influence, while the government asserted that the existing agency hasn’t been doing an adequate job. It was not immediately clear how the proposed agency could enforce its rulings, other than by taking to the courts.
The report stated, “The News Media Council should have power to require a news media outlet to publish an apology, correction or retraction, or afford a person a right to reply. This is in line with the ideals contained in existing ethical codes but in practice often difficult to obtain.”
Especially if you have to monitor a few thousand blogs every day.
Photo by Hsilamot
Lorraine Murphy is an Ottawa-based cybersecurity journalist and founding editor of the Cryptosphere. She has a keen interest in WikiLeaks and web culture, and her bylines have appeared in Salon, Vanity Fair, Serious Eats, and elsewhere.