Saturday, 3 March 2012

Only your loving family reads your blog? Finkelstein thinks you're too dangerous to be left to your own devices

Despite the fact that your blog may have a little as 41 ‘visits’ per day (including bot scans) the Australian Government’s Independent Inquiry into the Media and Media Regulation advises that there is a need to regulate your website:

3.80 Internet users generally are much more likely to visit the websites of news organisations than news blogs for online news. More than 60 per cent of internet users in each age group reported visiting websites of news organisations, with the proportion rising to more than three-quarters for those aged 18–34. More than half of those aged 25–34 and 35–49 visited the news websites at least weekly. In contrast, significantly fewer people in each age group reported visiting news blogs. In each case, visits to news blogs were seldom more frequent than weekly. Only around one in 10 of those in the 18–24 and 25–34 age groups reported daily visits to news blogs.

11.67 The second change arises from the fact that 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.

Welcome to the bizarre world being created by the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Senator Stephen Conroy.

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