Muzzles ready …

Gemma Daley in the Fin Review reports …

Federal cabinet is set to approve and present to Parliament a tough public interest test for media ownership …

Labor MPs have been told to sell the idea of a media crackdown to their electorates over the next six weeks …

Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon to say the Australian media was beginning to behave like that in the UK. “I think what we have seen over Craig Thomson is the first step down a Fleet Street style of journalism and clear evidence we need an independent regulator,” he said at the time.

Labor senator Doug Cameron cited the Slipper affair yesterday in his push for greater regulation of the media, particularly News Ltd.

“The conduct of News Ltd over a long period . . . is a threat to democracy in this country,”

The greater threat to democracy is over-regulation of the media. There is no constitutional right to free speech enshrined in the Australian Constitution, possibly because the founding father’s thought the necessity of free speech to a Westminster style democracy so obvious that it didn’t need to be stated. Much of the Fin Review article concerns the Thomson and Slipper affairs. Labor has been unable to sweep these matters under the carpet because a section of the media have not allowed them that luxury. Labor’s response – muzzle the press.

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