Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Do the proposed media laws matter?

All Australian media have been busy with discussions on proposed media laws currently before the Senate. The role of technology has been widely discussed, with two major streams of argument. The first says that the laws should not be passed as this will lead to a concentration of media, especially in rural and regional areas according to the Nationals. This argument also says that traditional media giants will come to dominate online media, pointing to News Corporation’s purchase of MySpace for US$580 million. A second line of argument says that technology will drive new forms of media, eg. Internet TV, and new business models that will disrupt the dominance of traditional media and quickly make obsolete these proposed laws. Google’s purchase of YouTube for US$1.67 billion is a strong sign of things to come. It is safe to say we will see a bit of both, with consolidation probably inevitable, especially globally, and the role of technology becoming more significant.

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