Labor’s ‘door open’ for new media code of conduct

August 21, 2018

Labor senators have left the door open to supporting a Senate committee’s proposals for a new media code of conduct for commercial TV reporters covering migration issues and a new parliamentary code of conduct for discussing multicultural issues.

The Conservative Party remains vehemently opposed to this kind of politically correct government interference in truthful reporting.

The code of conduct recommendations were made in a report from a committee chaired by Greens senator Richard Di Natale, which also called for a new body to handle migrant settlement and for the government to abandon its changes to the Australian Citizenship Act to include a stricter English language test and a four-year permanent residency requirement.

More controversially, the committee recommended the Australian Press Council be required to develop a broadcast media code of conduct requiring commercial broadcasters to report in such a way that “prohibits misrepresentation of culturally and linguistically diverse communities”.

The committee also recommended parliament introduce a “code of multicultural ethics” that rejected discriminatory or exclusionary statements and encourages “factually correct debate”.

Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi has told Paul Murray Live on Sky News, if the new code is adopted, it's likely journalists and media outlets will suffer the consequences if they identify the ethnic or cultural identity of criminal individuals in some news stories.

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