Investigative journalism in danger
Australia has good public media but the concentration of media ownership is one of the highest in the world. It became even more concentrated in July 2018, when Nine Entertainment took over the Fairfax media group. Mainly concerned with business efficiencies and cost-cutting, this new entity resembles Australia’s other media giant, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. Under the very conservative prime minister, Scott Morrison, the government has abandoned any attempt to regulate the media market. The space left for demanding investigative journalism has also been reduced by the fact that independent investigative reporters and whistleblowers face draconian legislation. Australia adopted one of the toughest defamation laws of the world’s liberal democracies in 2018, while its laws on terrorism and national security make covering these issues almost impossible. At the same time, the migrant detention centres run by government contractors on the islands of Manus and Nauru are in practice inaccessible to journalists and have become news and information black holes.
19 in 2018
15.46 in 2018