- Riots break out after a fake email about coronavirus went viral Thursday 8:59 PM
- Bloomberg edits debate clip to make other Democratic candidates appear speechless Thursday 7:50 PM
- Dad claims YouTube refuses to remove video of daughter’s murder Thursday 6:36 PM
- Video of Kanye leaving Kim in elevator to carry all their bags has people cackling Thursday 6:19 PM
- Orlando Bloom’s tattoo misspelled son’s name because of Pinterest Thursday 5:35 PM
- The Ahi Challenge is the latest dance taking over TikTok Thursday 4:40 PM
- Show criticized for putting rape victim in blackface to protect her identity Thursday 3:42 PM
- Woman becomes viral sensation after iconic ‘Shallow’ subway video Thursday 2:48 PM
- Prettyboyfredo tried to gift a bullied teen some $30,000 Nikes at school—he got detained Thursday 2:13 PM
- ‘Vanderpump Rules’ recap: Wedding bells and blows Thursday 1:50 PM
- A 16-year-old made a ‘meme guide’ to help her dad understand online trends Thursday 1:46 PM
- UCLA drops plans to use facial recognition after student pushback Thursday 1:07 PM
- ‘Star Trek: Picard’ recap, episode 5: ‘Stardust City Rag’ Thursday 12:56 PM
- Roger Stone sentenced to 40 months in prison Thursday 12:45 PM
- New The 1975 music video is full of memes you’ll love Thursday 12:28 PM
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.