In November 2020, the Senate referred an Inquiry to the Senate Environment and Communications References Committee to examine the state of media diversity, independence and reliability in Australia and the impact that this has on public interest journalism and democracy.
The Media Diversity Inquiry was established after a petition, calling for the establishment of a royal commission into Australian media and signed by over half a million Australians, was presented the Australian parliament.
Many of the inquiry’s final recommendations were drawn from previous PIJI research and proposals.
PIJI’s submission to the Media Diversity Inquiry in January 2021 focused on on key issues and findings from PIJI’s Australian News Data Project and recommended that a mix of policy levers must be used to address the seriousness and extensiveness of the problems facing public interest journalism. The key recommendations were:
- The establishment of an independent fund to provide ongoing program support for public interest journalism.
- That taxation mechanisms could offer significant returns in industry investment and other support.
PIJI’s supplementary submission, made in October 2021, focused on PIJI research that was of interest to the inquiry. PIJI CEO Anna Draffin and Chair Professor Allan Fels then appeared before the inquiry in October 2021 and discussed PIJI’s research into a tax rebate scheme for public interest journalism. You can read our answers to questions taken on notice here.