Week 4 – Analysing policy: Focus on media regulation

I’m really enjoying this year’s BCM310 subject so far. I’m finding all the lectures current, interesting and thought-provoking and the tutorials challenging and eye-opening. I particularly enjoyed this week’s lecture and readings on media policies, reform and issues of ownership and classification.
I find issues of media ethics and classification continually interesting and relevant, in particular the lecture’s example of the R18+ rating awarded to computer games and the example of horror films discussed in the tutorial. I watch a lot of horror movies, so I’m always interested to read about what hasn’t passed classification, what has been banned and on what grounds. A hot topic at the moment is the banning of the film ‘I Want Your Love’ in Australia due to graphic homosexual sex scenes, while documentaries like ‘Donkey Sex’, depicting real scenes of zoophilia, passed classification.
I do think it’s important for a body, government or independent, to regulate the media that is made accessible and public to protect individuals from harmful material. However, I also think people should be able to access material they want as long as it is not illegal, criminal, has harmed or will cause harm to others. I believe in co-regulation between the film industry itself, the classification board and government, to deem what is suitable for public viewing. Classification and media reform debates are continually important as the nature of media changes, so must our policies adapt to these new media and changes in society.
The lecture and reading by Terry Flew entitled ‘Media classification: content regulation in an age of convergent media’, examined media reform policies and looked at the issues of classification and media ownership. I found it startling to learn Australia had the most concentrated media out of any democracy in the world. This information really got me questioning how much of my media is objective and with agenda. It was fascinating in the tutorial to discuss the competing interests of different groups in relation to media policies and reform, regarding community radio, local content and media performance including ethical journalism practices.

James Franco addresses banning of film ‘I Want Your Love’

 

Flew, T (2012) ‘Media Classification: Content regulation in an age of convergent media’ Media International Australia incorporating Culture and Policy, 143 May: 5-15

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