Mainstream media finally calls out Labor on misinformation laws

Major media organisations in Australia have now joined the chorus of concern over Labor's proposed censorship bill.

Mainstream media finally calls out Labor on misinformation laws
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News Corp Australia and the ABC have finally joined the thousands of Australians who have voiced criticism against Labor's proposed legislation aimed at tackling what it defines as 'online misinformation.'

The contentious bill, which grants significant powers to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), has drawn scrutiny for its potential impact on journalistic and personal freedoms.

The ABC has highlighted the absence of safeguards for journalists' sources, urging the government to incorporate provisions for their protection.

Under the proposed laws, the ACMA would be empowered to levy hefty fines on social media platforms for disseminating what it classifies as 'harmful misinformation or disinformation.'

Critics fear that such measures could inadvertently curtail freedom of speech. News Corp Australia has called for revisions to the bill's definition of news sources and content to prevent undue burdens on media outlets while citizen journalists have expressed the importance of the laws not simply allowing exceptions for traditional big media corporates.

The Australian Press Council has expressed some concerns, emphasising the need for exemptions for comments on articles and broader definitions of news content.

Commercial Radio and Audio have also raised objections, arguing that the legislation represents an unwarranted intrusion on media freedoms.

Amid mounting criticism, Opposition communication spokesman David Coleman has urged the government to abandon the bill altogether.

He contends that the legislation poses significant threats to freedom of speech and pledges to oppose it vehemently.

In response to the backlash, Communications Minister Michelle Rowland has indicated a willingness to refine the bill. However, she maintains that the proposed information powers would not apply to journalists and assures that 'professional news content' would be exempt from scrutiny.

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  • By Ezra Levant


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