Crikey joins self regulation watchdog the Australian Press Council

The publisher of Crikey, Private Media, has become the first online only publisher to join the Australian Press Council.

The move comes as self-regulation of the press in Australia comes under pressure with the recommendation of a new government-funded News Media Council

Private Media chairman Eric Beecher said: “We’re joining the Press Council because we were invited and because we believe in the concept of a media complaints system. We also believe that the producers of online journalism should be part of the complaints system.”

Private Media also publishes The Power Index, SmartCompany, Property Observer, LeadingCompany and StartupSmart.

In a posting on Crikey, editor Sophie Black said one reason the organisation has not joined sooner was because it had doubts over whether the APC – mainly funded by Australia’s largest, print-based publishers, understood online journalism.

She said: “Our critics have often accused Crikey of hypocrisy for not previously joining the council. But our reluctance was never based on the suggestion that we should not be part of an independent complaints system or that somehow online media should be beyond the scope of the editorial expectations placed on print media. Our hesitation was based on the belief the Press Council had no real understanding of how online media worked.”

She added: “Since August, the Press Council has sought to engage with online publications and subsequently has given some thought to what they could offer digital media in exchange for membership. They’ve addressed the issue of fee structure and how that factor alone could potentially exclude many start-ups, and started to consider the unique challenges that online publications face such as moderation.”


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