The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Thursday, July 5, 2012

AFR: Media bosses say public interest test will be used to protect political interests

From the AFR today:

Mr Warburton told The Australian Financial Review last week a public interest test was “unnecessary” and “wouldn’t work”.

“The current calls for a test appear to be a knee-jerk reaction to recent corporate events in the media industry,” said Mr Warburton. “A public interest test would give less certainty than the current arrangements and increase the administrative burden on the media industry. It would also introduce subjectivity to the regulatory environment.”

The letter [signed by major media CEOs] said a public interest test for media ownership would increase regulation and was “flawed on policy, regulatory and legal grounds”. It said such a test would be “subjective, vague and imprecise”, and that it had not worked in the UK.

The letter said it was “nothing more than a political interest test” which had “the capacity to be misused by politicians of all persuasions to block the acquisition of media companies by people they do not agree with or simply do not like”.