First step towards a news measurement framework in the digital age

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is set to consult on an “information measurement framework” for diversity and localism in Australia, with the publication of a consultation document in early 2023.

The Albanian government supports this approach, which is a fundamental step in modernizing the way news media diversity is measured in Australia.

The government needs strong information market evidence – including what information is available to Australians and what they consume – to inform media policy interventions and develop measures to support journalism. public interest and media diversity.

Traditional measures of media diversity, based on the rules of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, currently measure and regulate the ownership and control of traditional television, print and radio. However, they do not assess the consumption and popularity of news sources, and they do not take into account digital news services.

Australians are increasingly accessing information online, and traditional measures of media diversity do not take into account the availability of digital information or seek to examine its impact on the wider information market.

The ACMA will hold a consultation on an alternative ‘news measurement framework’, building on its December 2020 research paper: News in Australia: Diversity and Localism – News Measurement Framework.

The framework, developed in collaboration with leading experts in the field, consists of indicators that can be tracked over time and provide a better, more holistic understanding of the ever-changing news environment.

It aims to measure the information market at the national, state and local level, and examine key metrics of:

  • Source diversity – the extent to which the news media market is populated by a diverse range of content providers,
  • Content diversity – the extent to which news media content features different voices, viewpoints and demographic profiles, and
  • Consumption diversity – the extent to which audiences consume a diverse range of news media content.

The consultation document, which will be released in early 2023, will seek feedback from a wide range of stakeholders on promoting media diversity and protecting our democratic processes.

The ACMA will also seek new sources of research and data that could help finalize the model.

Stakeholder feedback will help inform the next steps of ACMA’s work, including potential pilot projects and other measurement activities to be undertaken throughout 2023.

The project will be closely aligned with and informing the Department’s work under the government’s News Media Assistance Program.

Quotes attributable to the Minister of Communications, the Honorable Michelle Rowland MP:

“The issue of media diversity and news media concentration is a concern for many Australians.”

“Australia needs a new framework for measuring news media diversity that takes into account the contemporary media environment and changing patterns of news media consumption over time.”

“This process reinforces the Albanian government’s expressed intention to pursue a principled, evidence-based and consultative approach to supporting media diversity and public interest journalism in Australia.”

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