The connected economy: documenting media & communications evolution in Australia | ACMA

The connected economy: documenting media & communications evolution in Australia

Chris Chapman, Chair and CEO of the Australian Communications and Media Authority, today released a further occasional paper, Evidence-informed regulatory practice−An adaptive response.

‘In this easy reference document, the ACMA is bringing together the body of its research conducted over the past decade that has sought to comprehensively document the significant changes occurring in Australia’s media and communications sector, and the developments that are shaping the way Australians are likely to use communications and media in the future,’ said Mr Chapman.

‘Since its formation in 2005, the ACMA has strived to be an evidence-informed regulator. This involves a strategic program of research to inform not only immediate regulatory decisions, but also to inform the ACMA’s forward-looking responses to new and emerging issues in Australia’s connected economy and to assist its stakeholders more generally,’ Mr Chapman added.

The paper showcases the ACMA’s use of research as a tool of evidence-gathering to inform regulatory practice. It seeks to illustrate how the ACMA’s approach to evidence-gathering and decision-making has supported the development of informed responses to media and communications pressures. The paper also illustrates how research has provided evidence to identify emerging issues where the regulator might need to support and facilitate change in communications and media to benefit Australian consumers, citizens and industry players.

The paper is structured around the four elements that guide the ACMA’s approach to adapting regulatory settings in an environment of change:

  • Understanding the pressures for change
  • Accommodating and creating a vision for change that tests the need for any intervention against the ‘public interest’
  • Building the capacity for effective industry and citizen engagement in digital communications and media by providing information about the changing environment
  • Engaging in adaptive regulatory practice.

‘The intent of evidence-informed regulatory practices is to ensure that the ACMA has a much deeper understanding of the changing nature of the various benefits and risks for industry, consumers and citizens that continue to evolve in such a dynamic industry and user environment,’ said Mr Chapman.

For more information please see the Backgrounder below, or to arrange an interview, please contact: Blake Murdoch, on (02) 9334 7817, 0434 567 391 or

Media release 17/2015 - 9 April



The occasional paper Evidence-informed regulatory practice−An adaptive response is the distillation of ten years of ACMA research.

The ACMA’s research program—researchacma—underpins its work and decisions as an evidence-informed regulator. It contributes to its strategic policy development, regulatory reviews and investigations as the ACMA seeks to deliver on its strategic intent of making media and communications work for all Australians.

This research is drawn from researchacma’s five broad areas of interest:

  • market developments
  • media content and culture
  • social and economic participation
  • citizen and consumer safeguards
  • regulatory best practice and development.

As the paper explains, over the past 10 years the ACMA has used a variety of research methods to develop an on-going body of evidence and analysis about the efficiency and effectiveness of regulatory settings and tools, and the operation of specific parts of communications and media regulation.

Last updated: 13 April 2015