Australian Media Inquiry Wants To Control Even Blogs With One Reader A Day

Posted on Mon 03/05/2012 by

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Andrew BoltBy Andrew Bolt ~

Niche modeller Dr David Stockwell wonders if the media inquiry understands the blog sites it wants the Federal Government to police:

The Media Inquiry by Finkelstein Q.C. proposed on page 301 the regulation of blogs with more than a specific number of hits per annum, suggesting an equivalency with print media:

If a publisher distributes more than 3000 copies of print per issue or a news internet site has a minimum of 15 000 hits per annum it should be subject to the jurisdiction of the News Media Council, but not otherwise. These numbers are arbitrary, but a line must be drawn somewhere.

Does he know how many actual readers that 15,000 hits a year represents?

Of the total number of hits a blog receives, at least 90% are due to search bots (like Google and Bing), spammers and sundry malicious automata.

Of the remaining 10% of hits that could be identified with real people, around 75% are bouncers, people who click away within a few seconds.

Of the real readers, they might browse a few pages, contributing 3 or 4 hits.

Therefore, the ration of hits to readers is around 0.1*0.25*0.25 or less than 1%.

Conservatively, 15000 hits per annum translates into 150 unique readers once a year, or less than one reader per day.

Yet Finkelstein seems to suggest that 15000 hits per annum is equivalent to a publication with a print run of 3000 copies.

Given losses and returns, a small regional paper might reach 1500 people twice a week with that kind of print run, or perhaps 15000 people per year.

One can explain the derivation of Finkelstein’s figures of 3000 paper copies and 15,000 hits per annum by assuming that one blog hit is equivalent to a single paper reader. So one must then ask, is Finkelstein totally clueless about the Internet?

UPDATE

Reader X notes the attempts by foreign and local activists to use the media inquiry to punish the Murdoch newspapers, which employ more conservatives than do Fairfax newspapers and the ABC:

From the final reporting of this Labor governments Media Inquiry a very interesting statement buried on page 291 of the report:

What are the options for regulation:
….
License publishers of print and online news, the criterion being that the publisher is a ‘fit and proper person’—an option with a surprising number of supporters, most but not all of whom are members of the advocacy group Avaaz.

Avaaz? Who are these people who flooded this inquiry with demands to license the free press in Australia? I bet it was those evil rightwingers wasn’t it?…

Avaaz.org was co-founded by Res Publica, a “community of public sector professionals dedicated to promoting good governance, civic virtue and deliberative democracy”,[2] and MoveOn.org, a George Soros-funded[3], American non-profit progressive public policy advocacy group.[4][5] It was also supported by Service Employees International Union, a founding partner, and GetUp!, an Australian non-profit campaigning organization.

Ok…

The report states:

The Inquiry received and reviewed approximately 10 600 short submissions

The majority of the submissions were facilitated by two advocacy organisations, Avaaz and NewsStand through the use of online forms. In relation to the submissions facilitated by Avaaz, approximately 9600 submissions made use of the following prepared text:

That is 86% of the submissions to the “inquiry” were boilerplate submissions from the Getup supported foreign political organisation Avaaz.

How many leftists were piously claiming that the inquiry had nothing to do with shutting down or muzzling news LTD, nothing at all…

From the Avaaz call to arms, where 86% of the inquiries submissions came from:

The People vs. Murdoch — last day to be heard!

The media inquiry we fought hard to win is under threat — Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers are working to discredit and limit the investigation into his stranglehold on our media. But a flood of public comments from each of us will set an ambitious agenda and save the inquiry.

Nothing to do with muzzling News Ltd at all, right. So Avaaz is a foreign political organisation of which Getup! Is a major supporter. Who then is the other major “advocacy organisation”: NewsStand?

On the bottom of their Website it says: “Authorised by Ed Coper”. Who is Ed Coper?  Ed Coper is the Campaigns Coordinator for GetUp! Action for Australia.

Ed Coper is one of Australia’s most successful online campaigners, having been responsible for more than 40 major media campaigns for the social advocacy organisation, GetUp.org.

The vast majority – at least 86% of submissions – came from two Getup astroturf groups, pretty convenient for the Labor government that its own propaganda arm flooded its own media inquiry with affirmative submissions isn’t it?

Also why do Getup feel the need to hide their identity in these matters?

UPDATE 2

Menzies House is running a petition for free speech.

Andrew Bolt is a journalist and columnist writing for The Herald Sun in Melbourne Victoria Australia.

Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am. He is also heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of radio station MTR 1377, and his book  Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.

Read more excellent articles from Andrew Bolt’s Blog . http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/