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Australia – (E8) Level of self-regulation (performance)

Score in short:

While the self-regulatory system is far from perfect, a fair attempt is made to implement it.

Score in detail:

The main self-regulatory body concerned with the print media is the Australian Press Council. The regulatory body for the broadcast media is the Australian Communications and Media Authority. There are no ombudsmen, neither in-house in the media companies nor is there a national ombudsman for the media.

The Australian Press Council is well aware of the debate about its effectiveness, but reports that it has been more effective in recent times, achieving a mediated settlement in a short space of time in at least half the cases brought to it. This settle ment can consist of the publication of an apology, a correction, a clarification or publication of follow-up material. Several papers now have a correction or ‘we were wrong’ column.

Many of the print media houses have their codes of conduct or editorial ethics policy readily available on their websites, and the public broadcaster has created a special position of director of editorial policies who frequently speaks at public forums.