According to Latika Burke, Stephen Conroy (the Federal Communications Minister) revealed that the “convergence report” suggested the Government subsidize media companies in order to safeguard the print medium. Since then both Stephen Conroy and Malcolm Turnbull have registered their disagreement, however, some people, especially those on Twitter, do believe that this is a good idea. I do not.
I believe that the media is incredibly important for the effective functioning of a democracy. In many cases the media is our only watchdog. It provides fact checking of politicians statements, sits through the drudgery of question time to highlight important developments, goes through documents that most of us have neither the time nor the expertise to understand, informs us of the world beyond our shores, and brings to light important issues that our politicians need to address. But it can only fulfil this role if it is independent. It can only fulfil this role if we the consumer are its master. The moment the media is beholden to the government (read: politicians) for its viability, and then they are no longer serving the rest of us. Just like a dog that knows who feeds it, it will become tame and refuse to confront its new master. Politicians will no longer be challenged, flubs and lies will go uncovered, reality will be altered to fit ideologies, and many “unfortunate” events will go uncovered entirely. This cannot be allowed to happen. The media must stay independent for the good of our democracy. We the consumers must remain its masters, not the very people we got the dog to protect us from in the first place.