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Impartiality and commercial influence in broadcast news - consultation 02/2020

We’re exploring whether current regulatory arrangements are working effectively to safeguard the integrity of broadcast news and current affairs.

Submissions now public
Consultation number
IFC 02/2020
Days remaining 0 of 43 days
  • 1

    Open for comment

    17 Jan 2020
  • 2

    Consultation closed

    28 Feb 2020
  • 3

    Submissions and outcome 1 published

    30 Apr 2020
  • 4

    Submissions and outcome 2 published

    10 Nov 2022

Key documents

Outcome 2 (published 10 November 2022)

Under our 2019–20 research program, we started a project exploring the Australian news environment. Stage 1 looked at impartiality and commercial influence in news. 

We researched current attitudes to:

  • news
  • changing consumption patterns
  • consumer concerns about impartiality and commercial influence in broadcast news in Australia.

We published this research and the above discussion paper in early 2020. However, following the consultation period, work on the project was deferred. This was due to industry pressures and making our response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic a priority.

The research findings and issues raised in submissions have been used to inform our What audiences want paper, published in June 2022. The paper includes best-practice approaches for protecting the integrity of news and journalistic content.

It is aimed at broadcasters in their review of industry codes of practice. It is the finalisation of the first stage of the news project. 

Outcome 1 (published 30 April 2020)

We have now closed our consultation on the Impartiality and commercial influence in broadcast news discussion paper and have published non-confidential submissions.

While the issues raised in these submissions are important, we have decided to defer our further review of these matters due to current industry pressures relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The submissions do not reflect the views, policy or position of the ACMA.

Previous consultation: The issue

Quality news is essential for effective participation in democracy and civil society. Ongoing disruption to the media environment has raised concerns over the integrity of news in both online and traditional news sources.

Our research has flagged issues of impartiality and commercial influence as key areas of consumer concern.

We’ve released a discussion paper that provides a framework for public consultation on these issues.


View our related research, Australians and news—impartiality and commercial influence, which consists of:

  • a review of literature and research: News in Australia—Impartiality and commercial influence
  • qualitative research: Australians and news—Impartiality and commercial influence
  • quantitative research: Attitudes to news today—Impartiality and commercial influence
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