The communications minister, Mitch Fifield, has signalled he will consider introducing a new tax break for smaller publishers to encourage them to employ more journalists, as part of the government’s long-running deliberations on media reform, which could wrap up within the week. Fifield is now in talks with both the Nick Xenophon Team and the Greens to see if the government can pass its media reforms, which have been deadlocked for months, largely because One Nation has refused to support the package as it stands. The Greens are a recent entry to the talks with the government and, along with the NXT, are pursuing policy measures favourable to smaller, independent publishers as a mechanism to boost diversity. The Greens have long opposed scrapping the two out of three rule, which would mean media moguls could control television, newspapers and radio stations in the same market – but the party is now signalling it could consider that change if the government will countenance safeguards to encourage quality independent journalism. As well as scrapping the two out of three rule, the government’s package also includes scrapping the 75% reach rule, which prevents Nine Entertainment, Seven West Media and the Ten Network from… Read full this story
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