Recommendations

Recommendation 1

The committee recommends that the ABC and SBS be funded adequately, so that they can deliver on their charter obligations, support rural and regional service provision and have a strong fact checking capacity.

Recommendation 2

The committee recommends that the Commonwealth provide additional surety in future funding for the community broadcasting sector beyond the forward estimates, in particular what component will be set aside for training and education, and ensure that the sector is fully consulted in the national rollout of digital services.

Recommendation 3

6.85    The committee recommends that the Commonwealth work with the states and territories through the Council of Australian Governments to determine how areas of the Australian Curriculum may be improved regarding digital media awareness and media literacy.

Recommendation 4

7.86    The committee recommends that the Commonwealth develop and implement a framework for extending deductible gift recipient (DGR) status to not-for-profit news media organisations in Australia that adhere to appropriate standards of practice for public interest journalism.

Recommendation 5

7.87    The committee recommends that the Treasury undertake cost-benefit modelling on extending the tax deductible status of news media subscriptions to all Australians, not just those who can already claim the cost of subscriptions through existing income tax arrangements, for subscriptions to news media organisations in Australia that adhere to appropriate standards of practice for public interest journalism.

Recommendation 6

7.93    The committee recommends that the Australian Law Reform Commission conduct an audit of current laws that impact on journalists reporting on matters that touch on or focus on national security and border protection, to identify and analyse unjustifiably harsh or draconian laws, inconsistencies in the law and any lack of clarity in the law regulating the work of journalists in this context, and to consider whether further reform is needed to achieve an appropriate balance between the need to preserve national security and the need for journalists to be able to carry out their work in the public interest.

Recommendation 7

7.97    The committee recommends that the Commonwealth work with state and territory jurisdictions through the Council of Australian Governments to complete a review of Australian defamation laws, and subsequently develop and implement any recommendations for harmonisation and reform, with a view to promoting appropriate balance between public interest journalism and protection of individuals from reputational harm.

Recommendation 8

7.102    The committee recommends that the Commonwealth look at ways to expand whistleblower and shield law protections, and to harmonise those laws between the Commonwealth and state and territory jurisdictions, noting the work in this area already underway.

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