Feeds

Oz says 41 hits a day turn bloggers into publishers

Proposed regulator could force bloggers to make corrections

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Bloggers whose online scrawling earns just 41 page impressions a day could be forced to apologise to those they wrong on their sites and issue corrections, under a proposed new model of media regulation for Australia.

The 41 a day recommendation comes from the so called Finkelstein report, formally known as the Report of the Independent Inquiry into the Media and Media Regulation.

Commissioned by the Australian Government in the wake of the News of the World phone hacking scandal, the Inquiry got up thanks to in no small measure to the the Greens, who felt that News Ltd was out of control when The Australian declared in an editorial that the party should be “destroyed at the ballot box.”

The report's central suggestion is that the government should create and fund a new central body , called the News Media Council, to handle all complaints about media. Such a body is needed, the report argues, because Australia currently has multiple overlapping media regulators, most of which are ineffectual. There's also no regulator at all for online media , which means if you want to complain about The Register there's no-one to approach.

“In this environment, there are considerable benefits for media organisations, consumers and government in the establishment of a ‘one stop shop’ regulatory arrangement that applies to all news producing media, regardless of delivery platform,” the report argues. The report also says that a government-funded body is necessary because publisher-funded organisations are either toothless due to self interest, or publisher opt out to save a few bucks or when it's convenient to escape oversight.

The authors try to define just what media should be subject to the new body's oversight and decides that publishers must be in the business of creating news, a definition it says could include bloggers because “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.”

The report then says “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.” The report adds that “ These numbers are arbitrary, but a line must be drawn somewhere.”

15,000 hits per anum translates to just over 41 a day. The report is silent on whether or not a micro-blogs could be included in its definition. It is also silent on why a blogger deserves the same oversight as a newspaper publisher.

Reaction to the report has been vivid and varied, but a decent summary and analysis can be found here.. The Federal Government says it is considering the report.

®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
prev story

Whitepapers

Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.