Xenoponzi bribes MB to support media consolidation

Via Domainfax:

A dramatic reshaping of Australia’s media industry is imminent after the Turnbull government’s plan to scrap “outdated and irrelevant” media ownership laws received endorsement from crucial Senate crossbenchers at the end of a day of furious backroom horse trading.

In exchange for his support, Senate kingmaker Nick Xenophon secured a suite of concessions from the government, including a one-off $60 million fund to support small publishers, journalism scholarships and subsidised journalism cadetships.

This includes $50 million over three years in grants to regional and small publishers, capped at $1 million per publication that is available from mid-2018. He believes these grants will create more jobs and “is there to expend civic journalism”.

Pauline Hanson announced support for the media deregulation package in August after the government agreed to a number of conditions, including introducing legislation requiring the ABC to be “fair and balanced”.

The One Nation deal may also force the ABC to disclose the salaries of high-profile presenters and staff earning more than $200,000 a year.

News Corp and Fairfax Media, which own many regional newspapers, are ineligible for the new funding, which will be distributed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

…Critically, Treasurer Scott Morrison has also agreed to have the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission conduct an inquiry into Google, Facebook and other internet giants.

Senator Xenophon said Google and Facebook were “hoovering up” $4 billion in advertising revenue in Australia, but paying little tax.

…The new laws will scrap the two-out-of-three rule and the 75 per cent reach rule, but still contain some ownership controls and local content requirements. For example, a single person cannot control more than two radio stations or more than one television station in a single market and there must be a minimum of four “voices” in regional cities and five in big cities. Each regional market requires 21 minutes of local content a day.

So, MB gets a hand out while Murdoch and Domainfax get to own everything else. The Facebook and Google investigations are ludicrous. All they did was build a better mouse trap. If they need to pay more tax then have a tax inquiry.

In short, we’ll see a three year cyclical boost to grass roots journalism in return for the structural crushing of it over time.  That’s quality reform right there.

Well done, Xenoponzi, your realty empire will be well supported.


  1. I’m reminded of Malcolm Tucker’s description of that other “kingmaker” Nick Clegg:

    “He couldn’t make a king out of a two piece Duplo Make A King set without putting the arse on the head”

  2. So………

    Basically taxpayers are going to support small pubs so that the big end of town can further privatise profits and concentrate profits and power

    Isn’t this a clear transfer of taxpayer money to corporates

    I started reading Shock Doctrine last night and had to put it down out of anger

    That slimy Nick Xennafin is really slimy

  3. Will likely be in the form of a greater than 100% deduction for employing journalists.. https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/notforprofit-journalism-push-could-help-australian-media-changes-over-the-line-20170803-gxolo4.html

    I guess the plus side is that with media ownership consolidating into one owner there would theoretically be more opportunities to create publications that dig deeper into issues.

    Need to have a lot of eyeballs for ads or a lot of paid up members to be creating new content everyday for it to break even.


  4. Unlike commenters here, NXT is involved in the real-politic of the Senate. He needs to win more hearts & minds for his reform agenda, and is well aware of the established media to stifle &/or disparage him. He appears to have cut a deal which will encourage media diversity. As for who pays, it should be the free-to-air broadcasters through an increase in their licence fees. With the “rationalisation” of the media industry to follow the passage of the legislation, their renewed profitability should allow them to pay increased fees and repay their debt for past fee suspensions.

    • Oliver47, are you saying Xenophon needs to scratch the Liberal’s back in the hope that they will then return the favour in the future?

      Are you saying that if he sells us out so Facebook or Google can buy newscorp and every radio and television station (or some other buyer does the same) that this, according to your vocabulary equals media diversity?

    • It’s a shitty deal then. He’s all but ensuring further consolidation of media in exchange for a thimble of fertiliser for “competitors”. But can’t those competitors just be bought out by the majors once they start to steal eyeballs?

      ‘Realpolitik’? It’s stupid politics.

  5. I look forward to any MP or Senator’s vote being challenged if it was made after referral to High Court (in the event of a negative High Court finding).