Asia

Australia profile - Media

Newspaper reader in Melbourne, Australia Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Australia has a lively media scene and is considered to have a relatively free press

Australia's media scene is creatively, technologically and economically advanced. There is a tradition of public broadcasting, but privately-owned TV and radio have the biggest audiences.

The ownership of print and broadcast media is concentrated. Leading conglomerates include News Corp Australia, Seven West Media and the merged Fairfax Media-Nine Entertainment group.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) runs national and local public radio and TV. The other main public broadcaster is the multilingual Special Broadcasting Service (SBS).

National commercial TV is dominated by three big free-to-air networks. Broadcasters must carry a minimum percentage of Australian-made programmes. Pay TV via cable, satellite and IPTV has a strong foothold.

Sports, news, game shows, imported and home-made dramas top the TV ratings. The industry has successfully exported its productions to English-speaking markets overseas.

Media freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders says tough defamation legislation and laws on terrorism and national security have reduced the space for "demanding investigative journalism".

Around 21.7 million Australians were online by December 2018, around 88% of the population (InternetWorldStats.com).

Some 18 million Australians are active social media users (We Are Social, 2019). Facebook is the top social platform, with 16 million monthly active users by 2019.

The press

Television

Radio

  • ABC - public, operates speech-cultural network Radio National, ABC NewsRadio, youth network Triple J, ABC Classic FM and local services
  • Radio Australia - ABC external service, serves Asia-Pacific
  • SBS Radio - public, multilingual
  • Commercial Radio Australia - industry organisation

News agency/internet

  • AAP - Australian Associated Press
  • ABC News - public broadcaster's news site
  • news.com.au - news site owned by News Corp Australia
  • 9News - news site run by Nine Network