Ownership models used in Australia:

  • Commercial
  • Public Service
  • Community
  • Independent

Commercial Media

What is it?

  • For profit
  • Not government funded
  • Obligated to it's shareholders What are they selling?
  • Audiences in commercial media are constructed as 'consumers' to be sold to advertisers


  • Ownership concentration can negatively impact competition and diversity of content
  • Negative impact of commercial imperatives on professional standards of practice and quality
  • Protecting local content
  • Rise of low-cost newspapers and reduced barriers to production and distribution because of digital technology raises a serious threat for quality of content produced

Why is social media worth so much when most of them aren't making a profit?

If you're not paying for the product then the product is you (as consumers) So how do they make money?

  • Venture Capitalism
  • g. big investments in Ask.fm for their potential revenue in the future
  • Data
  • g. Google data mining of our emails and browsing habits
  • Advertising
  • g. targeted advertising on Facebook, celebrity endorsements on Twitter, ads on YouTube
  • User subscription fees

Public Service Broadcasting

What is it?

Government funded media whose mission is to serve the public rather than to make profit. In Australia we have 2:

  • The ABC
  • SBS

Why do they do it?

If commercial media producers audiences as consumers, what does public media produce?


ABC: nation building exercise with a goal to educate, inform and entertain Australians

SBS: Educate and inform non-English speaking Australians left out of the national conversation


  • Independence from government interference
  • Quality and relevance on tight budgets
  • Addressing market failure of commercial media - providing space for local stories
  • Providing accurate, balanced information
  • Accusations of political bias
  • Strictly regulated and under constant scrutiny

Community Media

What is it?

  • Not for profit (mostly)
  • Owned/operated/supported by specific local communities
  • Geared towards meeting specific info/en tertainmen t needs
  • Tends to be staffed by non-professional media practitioners

How do they do it?

  • Mostly funded through government grants, subscription, donation and volunteer/non-professional participation
  • Regulated by licenses (in the case of community radio)


  • Sustainability
  • Quality
  • Access and Literacy
  • Cost of sourcing and producing content

Independent Media

What is it?

  • Commercial or not-for-profit media that is independent of large corporations of governments
  • Often designed to provide alternative perspectives to dominant, mainstream perspectives


  • Ability to compete with mainstream media, commercially
  • Cost of sourcing and producing content

Summary of the Australian media industry

The industry is going through changes that are impacting the economics of doing business and the content produced and how it's delivered. These changes are:

  1. Increased access to high-speed Internet
  2. Digitalisation of media products and services
  3. Blending of media platforms and services
  4. Rise of niche and user-created content
  5. Greater user empowerment and control over their media environment
  6. Blurring of public and private sphere (e.g. Facebook)
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