Without a fair and balanced media the people are blind. Without a regulated media the people are prey. Given this, it is simple logic that the public needs safeguards put in place by their government which force media organisations to comply with their own press council standards. Leaving them to their own devices has proved an abysmal failure. This is what the Conroy Media Reform package in Australia is essentially about.
But judging by the hysterical outrage, the overblown rhetoric, the paranoid ridicule of the government spewing from media executives and their newspapers - especially News Ltd - it's clear they don't understand they are NOT an arm of government, they are self interested businesses that need regulating like any other business. To date they have managed to confuse and muddy the public debate to such an extent that the impression they've conjured is of a government bent on destroying freedom of speech. It is a blatant lie. Whatever one may think of the legislation in terms of its workability the fact is they are very minor reforms that do not affect press freedoms at all. If ever the public needed proof of how the press manipulates public opinion in the service of its own interests, this is it.
The ridiculous tabloid caricature of Communications Minister Stephan Conroy as a buck toothed Soviet style dictator is an insult to people's intelligence and evidence of the contempt News Ltd has for its readership. It is also blatant evidence of their profound bias in supporting one side of politics over the other. It is about time they came to terms with the moral obligation they have to their readers to be fair, objective and balanced when covering politics and current affairs. Anything less is a form of censorship in that one side of the political debate is stifled in order to promote the other. That is NOT in the best interests of democracy
Freedom of the press? Freedom of speech? Don't rely on News Ltd for a definition - they are its greatest abusers.