Updated 31 May 2022
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Dearman and Emma Vines
This quick guide lists
online resources relevant to Australian media legislation, policy administration,
standards, ratings research, and industry advocacy. It includes links to
selected overseas regulatory bodies.
- The Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (BSA) sets
out the regulatory framework for the broadcasting industry in Australia.
Its objects (outlined in section 3) include: promoting the availability of a
diverse range of broadcasting and datacasting services; facilitating
development of an industry that is efficient, competitive and responsive to
audience need; encouraging ‘diversity in control of the more influential broadcasting
services’; and promoting the role of broadcasting in ‘developing and reflecting
a sense of Australian identity, character and cultural diversity’.
- The Radiocommunications Act 1992 provides the
regulatory framework for managing the radiofrequency spectrum in
Act 2021 (OSA) provides for reporting and complaints systems which address
harms caused by cyber-bullying and cyber-abuse material, the
illegal sharing of intimate images, and the sharing of certain forms of illegal
News Media and
Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code is Part IVBA of the Competition and
Consumer Act 2010. The Code, which was established
in February 2021 and is administered by the
ACMA, enables eligible news businesses to bargain individually or
collectively with digital platform companies about payment for news on their
platforms and services.
- The Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act 1983 provides for the
establishment and operation of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
According to its Charter, the ABC is
required to provide informative, entertaining and educational services
that ‘contribute to a sense of national identity and inform and entertain, and
reflect the cultural diversity of, the Australian community’.
- The Special Broadcasting Service Act 1991 provides
for the establishment and operation of the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS). According to its Charter, SBS’s
principal function is ‘to provide multilingual and
multicultural broadcasting and digital media services that inform, educate and
entertain all Australians and, in doing so, reflect Australia's multicultural
- The Copyright Act
1968 regulates copyright in Australia in relation to original literary,
dramatic, musical and artistic works, and other subject matter (including sound
recordings, films and television broadcasts).
- The Interactive Gambling Act 2001 regulates
interactive/Internet gambling services.
and administrative authorities
- The Australian Communications and
Media Authority (ACMA) is responsible for the
regulation of broadcasting, the Internet, radiocommunications and
telecommunications. The ACMA is an independent Commonwealth statutory authority,
the mission of which is to ‘regulate communications and media to maximise the
economic and social benefits of communications infrastructure, services and
content for Australia’.
- The eSafety
Commissioner is Australia's national
independent regulator and educator for online safety. The Commissioner
administers the statutory schemes established by the Online Safety Act
2021, engages in research and public education, and works with online industry
on the Safety by
- The Australian
Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is established
under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 as an independent Commonwealth statutory authority.
Its responsibilities include the economic regulation of telecommunications and
the national broadband network (NBN) as well as
the broadcasting and content sectors.
- The Department
of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications provides policy advice to the Australian Government on issues including
communications and the arts. The Department advises on issues relating to the ABC and SBS, and
encompasses the Bureau of Communications, Arts and Regional Research, which provides economic and data analysis on communications, arts and
regional portfolio issues.
Board classifies films, computer games and publications for exhibition,
sale or hire in Australia. The Board operates under
(Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995.
regulatory and administrative bodies
- The Australian
Film Television and Radio School, established by the Australian Film, Television and Radio School Act 1973, is a federal statutory authority. It exists ‘to find and
empower Australian talent to shape and share their stories with the world by
delivering industry-relevant and future-focused education, research and
- Screen Australia (established by the Screen
Australia Act 2008) supports Australian film development, production, and
Australian Children’s Television Foundation
is a not-for-profit company funded by the Australian Government and the
governments of all states and territories, which invests in the development,
production and distribution of quality children’s television, audio-visual
media and related educational resources.
- NBN Co is a Commonwealth company
established to design, build, and operate Australia's broadband network. Its
operations are directed by the National Broadband
Network Companies Act 2011.
- The Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom (AJF) is a
not-for-profit research and advocacy group. Formed in 2017, the AJF advocates for media freedom in Australia and across the
- The Australian
Association of National Advertisers (AANA) is a peak
body representing the interests of Australian advertisers. The AANA is a
partner organisation to Ad Standards.
- The Australian
Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN)
represents individuals, small businesses, and not-for-profit groups as
consumers of telecommunications, broadcasting and online products and services.
- The Australian
Copyright Council is a not-for-profit organisation, established
in 1968, which promotes the understanding of copyright law and its application.
- The Australian
Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) is a
community-based organisation that deals with issues concerning children and the
- The Australian Influencer Marketing Council
(AiMCO) represents the growing sector of influencer marketing. AiMCO was formed
in 2019 under the umbrella of the Audited Media
Association of Australia, which has a long history of
collecting media circulation information. AiMCO published the Australian
Influencer Marketing Code of Practice in 2021.
Australian Narrowcast Radio Association
(ANRA) is the peak industry body representing Low Power Open Narrowcast (LPON)
and High Power Open Narrowcast (HPON) radio services across Australia.
Membership includes providers such as the TAB and foreign language, fringe
music, tourist, and religious services.
- The Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association (ASTRA) represents the subscription television and radio industry on
regulatory and policy issues.
- The Centre for
Inclusive Design (CfID) is a not-for-profit
organisation dedicated to increasing web and digital accessibility for people
with a disability. Prior to 2017, CfID was known as Media Access Australia. The
organisation rebranded itself because its mission ‘grew
from one that was solely about driving digital accessibility in Australia to
one that now seeks to make inclusivity the norm in design processes’.
Radio Australia is the national industry body representing Australia's commercial radio
- The Communications
Alliance works to promote the growth of the Australian
communications industry and the protection of consumer interests by fostering
standards of business ethics and behaviour through industry self-governance.
- The Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) is the peak body representing community radio and television
stations. The CBAA has established the Community Radio Broadcasting Codes of Practice,
which detail the operational standards and principles guiding community
broadcasting stations’ programming.
- The Community
Broadcasting Foundation is an independent
non-profit funding agency that seeks, secures and distributes funding to
support the development, creativity and sustainability of community
broadcasting in Australia.
- Country Press
Australia (CPA) is an industry body which represents independent
regional and local newspapers across Australia. In 2021 the ACCC authorised the CPA to negotiate on behalf of
its members with Google and Facebook, about payment for news carried on those
platforms. The CPA has also partnered
with researchers at Deakin University to document the conditions of rural
news making, and develop and road-test ‘an innovations agenda for Australia’s
country press in the digital era.’
- The Digital
+ Technology Collective is a network of agencies,
organisations and individuals providing digital media services in Australia. The
Collective replaced the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association in
- Free TV
Australia is the industry body that represents
Australia's commercial free-to-air television licensees.
- Independent Cinemas Australia is
a not-for-profit industry association representing independent exhibitors in
- The Judith Neilson Institute for
Journalism and Ideas (JNI) was established in 2018 by philanthropist Judith
Neilson. JNI supports journalism through grants and education programs.
- The Local &
Independent News Association (LINA) supports
hyperlocal news media in Australia. LINA was established in 2021, with support
from the Judith Neilson Institute and the Community Broadcasting Association
- The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance is the
union which represents people who work in media, entertainment, sports, and
- The Outdoor Media Association (OMA) represents
Out of Home (OOH) media display and media production companies which display
advertisements, own signs, and provide services to the OOH industry.
Media ratings and
figures for major metropolitan daily newspapers had been published by the Audited Media Association of Australia
(AMAA) since the 1930s, but the publishers of all metropolitan daily newspapers
to a system of private auditing in 2019. The AMAA does, however, remain a
useful tool for checking the circulation of a considerable number of smaller
regional mastheads. The AMAA’s reports are available via subscription. Users on
the APH network are able to access the AMAA database via
the Parliamentary Library catalogue.
- ThinkNewBrands, which is jointly
funded by News Corp, Nine and Seven West Media, commenced
publishing aggregated news media readership data from August 2021. The company
now works with Roy Morgan to measure
news readership after the retirement of EMMA
(Enhanced Media Metrics Australia) in 2021.
- OzTAM conducts television audience measurement (TAM) in Australia’s five mainland
metropolitan markets (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth), and nationally
for subscription television. OzTAM’s VPM Report provides
information on online video content streamed live or played on-demand by broadcasters
who participate in its survey (ABC, Seven Network, Nine Network, Network 10,
SBS and Foxtel).
- Regional TAM provides information on free-to-air and subscription television
viewing in regional Queensland, Northern NSW, Southern NSW, Victoria and
Tasmania and Western Australia.
Radio Australia publishes surveys
of radio audiences in Australia’s five metropolitan markets (Sydney, Melbourne,
Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth), plus Newcastle, Canberra and the Gold Coast. It also publishes
surveys completed in a range of smaller regional media markets.
Public Interest Journalism Initiative
(PIJI) is an independent think tank, established in 2018 with a limited project
duration of up to 5 years. PIJI’s purpose is to help establish ‘optimal market
pre-conditions in investment and regulation that will sustain public interest
journalism.’ PIJI’s Australian
Newsroom Mapping Project provides a ‘comprehensive, visual and searchable
index of news production availability—television, radio, print and digital
- The News
and Media Research Centre at the University of Canberra is a specialist research
centre ‘dedicated to exploring news consumption, social and digital media
networks, and the legal, ethical and social impacts of communication
Centre for Advancing Journalism at
the University of Melbourne supports journalism through teaching and research.
for Media History at Macquarie University is Australia's only centre
dedicated to conducting and fostering research on media history.
- The Digital Media Research Centre
at the Queensland University of Technology is a leader in digital humanities
and social science research. Its programs focus on digital transformation,
digital inclusion and governance, automation in the information environment,
and the role of social media in public communication.
Media Transition is an applied research unit based at the University of
Technology Sydney, which focuses on the causes and consequences of digital
disruption for media industries, the role of journalism in Australian
democracy, and business models that support media diversity.
International Association for Media and
Communication Research encourages research in the areas of media production
and consumption and the structure and transformation of media and communication
- Media is one of the areas of interest of the United States Pew Research Centre, which conducts
public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other
data-driven social science research.
- The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD) produces occasional papers on media and collects
statistics on media and information technology.
- The United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) promotes
the free flow of ideas by word and image. It works to foster free, independent,
and pluralistic media in print, broadcast and online.
European Audiovisual Observatory collects
and distributes information about audio-visual industries in Europe.
government and regulatory websites
Union develops rules to ensure that audio-visual media can circulate freely
and fairly in the single European market.
- The Federal
Communications Commission is the American Government
agency charged with regulating domestic and international communications by
radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable.
For copyright reasons some linked items are only available to members of Parliament.
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