Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Australia: Murdoch representative vows to fight media censorship in the High Court if necessary

NEWS Limited chief executive Kim Williams has upped the stakes in the media regulation debate, declaring he is willing to go to the High Court to protect free speech.

Speaking at an SA Press Club lunch in Adelaide yesterday, Mr Williams outlined a case against both "Finkelstein" and "Convergence" reviews now before Federal Government.

He said the "preposterous and foolish" Finkelstein recommendations should be treated with caution.

The Finkelstein recommendation for press standards to be overseen by a super regulator was "prima facie bad" because journalists could be fined or jailed with no right of appeal.

When asked how far he was willing to take the company in the fight against the proposed regulations should they be implemented, Mr Williams was unwavering in his response.

"We'll take the matter as far we can - I'll take it to the High Court. If people intend to have this stoush ... let's have it."

Promoting a "consumer first" model of reporting, Mr Williams said it should be the public, not the government, who set the news agenda.  "Consumers anoint the winners, not governments or regulators," Mr Williams said.

"Australians don't need dangerous new laws to give them greater media diversity; they just need a mobile device, or a television or a laptop.

"We should be celebrating this  tidal wave of change and  freedom of information rather than running to hide behind new rules to try to bring it under some tired and inevitably futile form of old-fashioned, unthinking control."

Mr Williams also endorsed the company's print products and said despite the changing media world, News Limited was well positioned to move  forward.

Mr Williams also spoke about recent announcements at News Limited, publisher of The Advertiser, to streamline the company's operations into a "one city, one newsroom" model.

"News Limited has announced a plan to put the customer front and centre of everything we do - to invest and innovate and streamline our organisational structure so that it is fit for purpose for today's world."



Bird of Paradise said...


Archie B. said...

Get rid of the United Nations and everybody with brown or black skin.

Disillusioned of Aus said...

More power to Williams. He is the first editor to directly oppose the tyranny of our minority leftist/green government. Freedom of speech is under heavy assault in Australia due to insecure politicians and judicial activists legislating from the bench. Unfortunately the people can't sack one particular judge and other's with the capacity won't take the the case to the High Court because of the cost and the uncertainty. We wait in hope for a change to a government willing to strike down the laws that silence us in spite of the constitution of our country. This is what happens when fringe elements are elected to power by people made insecure by the false statements by the climate change witch doctors who espouse fiction not scientific fact.

Anonymous said...

"We should be celebrating this tidal wave of change and freedom of information rather than running to hide behind new rules to try to bring it under some tired and inevitably futile form of old-fashioned, unthinking control."

That statement should be printed in huge letters on the front of every court in the country!

Well said!

Anonymous said...

If laws dont protect me, i will protect myself, with no where to go i will go to their office, please be open racists, can leave the innocent out of it, you choose your course of action and i.will choose mine, be big enough to stand for what you believe in, dont hide when your called out (or knocked out), lets attack defamation as its a road block to so called free speech, or does that not suit your agenda, without logic and consistantcy its self indulgent and has nothing to do with rights, ive never heard of unrestricted free speech ever, dont abuse rights for your own gain, defeats the whole purpose of your argument

Anonymous said...

I'd rather live in a town full of alleged 'racists' than a town with no admitted racists but a homicide rate 600 pct higher.