Why Australia needs media reform: Llew O'Brien
THIS week I spoke in parliament about a topic that will affect every person reading this column - the need for broadcast media reform.
The Media Reform Bill will ensure that regional news sources like The Gympie Times can remain viable businesses into the future, and continue to serve their communities with the all-important news that only local reporters can gather.
Media platforms like The Gympie Times, community radio stations and local TV reports such as Channel 7 and WIN hold a very important position, with people relying on them every day to keep them informed about what is happening in their region.
No national news source can provide this level of service. When Gympie floods, only the local news teams are on the ground here to relay essential messages from emergency services, keep people up-to-date on road closures and water heights, and where to go for help.
The Gympie Times office is right in the Gympie CBD, and its journalists are locals. When disaster strikes and the river rises, they pull on their gumboots and start working to make sure that the Gympie community is informed and prepared for what is to come. When the waters recede, they are there to report the clean-up, and when the damage is assessed, they lobby for assistance in recovery.
These media voices are the ones the Media Reform Bill seeks to protect.
The Bill will ensure the viability of Australia's regional news sources into the future, ensuring we continue to have access to a wide range of informational, educational and entertaining media voices.