The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has launched an investigation into how media outlets in Australia report on the Federal Government’s policies, including those relating to the NBN.
The ABC is a prime example, with its coverage of the NBN and NBN Co’s proposed wholesale broadband network being among the most favourable in the world.
The ACCC is concerned that some media outlets and advocacy groups may have been “subjected to an undue influence” in relation to the ABC’s NBN coverage.
The investigation is being led by senior media lawyer Robert Bowers and involves media organisations and advocacy organisations.
“We have also seen reports that some advocacy groups have engaged in misleading, inaccurate and misleading representations about NBNCo. “
“While the ACCC cannot comment on specific cases, we believe that the public interest in these matters outweighs any possible risk of harm.” “
In its investigation, the ACCc will also look into “any breaches of this Code of Practice and will seek to investigate any breaches of any other rules.” “
While the ACCC cannot comment on specific cases, we believe that the public interest in these matters outweighs any possible risk of harm.”
In its investigation, the ACCc will also look into “any breaches of this Code of Practice and will seek to investigate any breaches of any other rules.”
“The ACCC’s investigation will look at whether there have been any breaches within the media and advocacy community or within the broader community of the Australian public,” the statement read.
In May, the ABC announced it was launching an online campaign to pressure the Federal government into a “fair” NBN rollout.
The campaign is now in its 10th month and has raised more than $1.4 million to date.
The NBN’s controversial $48.5 billion wholesale rollout, which was supposed to begin in 2020, has been plagued by delays and glitches.
It is now expected to begin operations in 2022, with the rollout expected to be completed by 2021.
The Coalition’s NBN policy, announced in June, would see the NBN delivered to households, businesses and schools over the next 20 years, with NBN Co overseeing the infrastructure and delivering services to the end user.
“NBN Co will continue to deliver the NBN to every Australian,” Mr Sims said in a statement.
“In a world where information is so fragmented, it is important that media outlets be able to report on important matters and accurately reflect the views of the community.”
“As a community, we have an obligation to be fair and accurate in our reporting of information.”
NBN Co CEO Ziggy Switkowski has defended the rollout, saying it would deliver faster, cheaper and more reliable broadband than Labor’s NBN.
NBN Co chief executive Ziggy Swan is expected to address the ACCac in Canberra on Thursday.
A spokesman for Mr Switkos said the company was “looking forward to sharing the details of the investigation with the public”.
“The NBN rollout is a complex undertaking, and we have taken the necessary steps to minimise any risk to the public,” he said.
“Our goal is to deliver a world-class NBN for all Australians.”