National: Greens back Labor’s plan to give Press Council bite
 National   By // 21:25, Wednesday 5 October 2011

First published on Monash University’s Spectrum website: October 5, 2011.

The Greens are now backing the Gillard Government’s Media Inquiry, but the Opposition is accusing the Government of creating the inquiry to please a minority.

Greens leader Bob Brown has announced his party supports the Gillard Government’s Independent Media Inquiry, but the Opposition says the inquiry is a wasteful attempt to please the minor party.

Senator Brown told the media that he was “very pleased” with the inquiry, having labelled media diversity as a key issue when calling for an inquiry two months ago.


“It looks at the diversity of the media and how that can be improved,” Senator Brown said.

The inquiry, announced by Minister for Communications Stephen Conroy in a press conference last month, will examine the regulation of print and online media, as well as how print media watchdog the Press Council processes complaints.

“The Press Council… has usually been seen as a fairly toothless tiger,” Senator Conroy said.

Senator Brown also supported the Minister’s criticisms of the Press Council.

“Is the Press Council… the best way to serve the public interest in terms of being an independent watchdog?” Senator Brown asked.

In a doorstop interview Shadow Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull called the inquiry a “waste of money.”

“They’re having an inquiry at the Greens’ request… for no reason other than that Bob Brown demanded it,” Mr Turnbull said.

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