by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Panpa Bulletin : February 2010
Shift to digital heralds an exciting new age THE decision to break up News Ltd’s Sydney-based newspaper sta- ble and place The Australian under separate management is a clear sign of the shape of things to come in the country’s rapidly changing media industry. The unmistakable message from this move, particularly as the chief executive of this new corporate en- tity, Richard Freudenstein, is also the head of News Digital Media, is that The Australian will be the vanguard for a shift to pay to read online con- tent. This follows an announcement by News Corporation chief, Rupert Murdoch, some months ago that the days of the free supply of the organi- sation’s editorial content online were numbered. In the wake of Murdoch’s an- nouncement the New York Times has unveiled a plan to charge its readers for unlimited access to a web ver- sion of the paper. The scheme, to be launched early next year, is bound to be followed in one form or another by other publishers around the world. The move to put a price on inter- net editorial content requires a major mind-shift by on-line consumers who have been used to bypassing or sup- plementing the hardcopy version of the news for many years. But while Freudenstein and pub- lishers of other newspapers grapple with the inevitability of this transi- tion, the whole media landscape in Australia is undergoing a seismic shift that has significant implications of its own. At the centre of this is the acceler- ating growth of digital broadcasting - both in television and radio. Digital radio is still very much in its infancy but promises to offer not just a much improved signal but a range of listener options previously restricted to interactive digital pay television. It is far too early to tell whether this will catch on with consumers, particularly as there are plenty of mobile and computer alter- natives already available to provide this type of service. In the meantime the television in- dustry is bracing itself for the switch- off by the Australian Government of its analogue spectrum in 2013 in favour of a total digital service. This is not without its own problems and will inevitably involve Canberra subsidising the conversion to dig- ital receivers for a large number of television viewers, particularly low income earners and the aged. The free to air television industry is not taking lightly the prospect of surrendering its analogue spectrum, arguing that it needs all the capacity it can get to meet consumer demand for an ever increasing range of pro- grams extending to high definition and even 3D channels. But the Australian Government has bigger fish to fry and Commu- nications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, is adamant that there will be a spectrum shift by the free to air net- works. He has his eye on a valuable spectrum which is highly sought after around the world for next generation wireless and mobile phone services. The sale of this 4G spectrum not only holds out the prospect of mega dividends for the Government but is essential to its strategy to build a high speed fibre optic national broadband network. And if this $43 billion scheme suc- ceeds it will have a major impact on the delivery of media and informa- tion services at all levels. In the meantime the decision by the Australia’s National Broadcaster, ABC, to launch a 24-hour news serv- ice across all of its outlets through a continuous news centre, being built at its Sydney headquarters, ups the ante considerably in the battle for audience share. The flagship for this will be a new digital channel complementing ABC 1 (currently analogue), ABC 2 and ABC 3, a children’s channel. While primarily aimed at counter- ing the success of pay TV’s Sky News service this ABC venture, funded by the Federal Government, will put ad- ditional pressure on commercial me- dia outlets, both electronic and print. Senator Conroy embraced the 24- hour news channel as an additional reason to make the switch from analogue to digital. While this may be good news for the Government it ignores the fact that the taxpayer is underwriting a free service which gives the ABC an uncompetitive ad- vantage over the rest of the media, including newspapers, in the supply of news and other information. And a consequence of this could be a contraction in the range of media outlets available to the community. Malcolm Colless Malcolm Colless is a former senior executive at News Ltd and writes a column for The Australian’s media section www.panpa.org.au ARIES, your creativity really takes off under a Leo Moon. Time to paint, write, dance, play music or just express yourself in your own individual way. TAURUS, it’s a great day to get physical in the gym or outdoors. Don’t neglect your domestic duties though – there’s plenty of chores to complete at home. GEMINI, communication – or lack of it – is highlighted. Make sure your partner [or potential partner] knows what you need and expect from the relationship. Freecall 18 email@example.com www.a uspacmedia.com.au Call Margret for ideas Phone: 07 5553 3200 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org increase circulation I NCREASEC I RCULAT I ON! Word Find Combiku Sudoku Crossword Spot The Difference Interactiv eFeatures Crossword, Word Find, Sudoku, Combiku & Spot the Diīerence Full interacƟve puzzles in various diĸculƟes. Java and Flash format. Link to our puzzles or embed them in your page. We automaƟcally update to your desired schedule. Increase traĸc to your website by including an interaƟve puzzle on your page Moore Daily Stars A feed-based Horoscope service supporƟng RSS, Atom, and a custom XML format. Choose your o wncolours and add bra nding News Digital Media CEO Richard Freudenstein . . . his appointment to also head Australia’s national broadsheet demonstrates seismic shifts in the industry 10 | The PANPA Bulletin | MARCH 2010