Four new publishers including Mumbrella’s parent company Focal Attractions, have been accepted as members of the voluntary media regulation body the Australian Press Council.
Along with Focal, which also publishes Encore magazine, the new APC members are:
- Private Media, which publishes Crikey, Power Index, Smart Company, StartUp Smart, Property Observer and LeadingCompany.
- Workday Media, which publishes Banking Day and The Bank Investor.
- Urban Cinefile
Meanwhile, ninemsn is in talks to join.
The move comes at a time when the industry is facing new challenges to its freedom to self regulate. Both the Finkelstein independent media inquiry and the medica convergence review have made recommendations that would change regulation of the press. Media minister Stephen Conroy is yet to respond to the recommendations.
Next month’s Mumbrella360 includes a session on media regulation featuring News Limited’s group editorial director Campbell Reid, Sydney Morning Herald publisher and editor-in-chief Peter Fray, Finkelstein inquiry advisor Matthew Ricketson and APC chair Julian Disney.
Speaking of the new members, Prof Disney said: “This is a very important step in the expansion of the Council’s role to cover online as well as print media. We also cover the websites of our newspaper and magazine members, as well as AAP. Another major news website, ninemsn, has indicated that it wishes to join the Council and we are now discussing the necessary arrangements.”
Focal Attractions publishing director Martin Lane said: “For press freedom to survive, every publisher must do their bit to support self regulation. I’d call on our longer established competitors in the media and marketing trade press, such as AdNews and B&T magazine to follow our lead and join up to.”
The APC is currently working on a project focusing on standards of practice in online publishing.
Prof Disney discusses press regulatiuon with Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes late last year: