Aug 2020

Independent media critical for democracy

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KENNEDY MP, Bob Katter has written to the Federal Communications Minister calling for extra support for regional and rural media, in solidarity with a campaign by the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance.

In recent months more than 150 regional and community newspapers ceased printing, which impacted Mr Katter’s electorate more than most - closures in the Kennedy electorate included the Northern Miner, Herbert River Express, Atherton Tablelander and the Innisfail Advocate.

“We feel for every one of the journalists, editors, salespeople and staff who have lost their jobs this year,” Mr Katter said.

“The power of the fourth estate is still effective, as is being demonstrated in the case of UQ student Drew Pavlou. He was attacked on campus by pro-Chinese Communist Party thugs because he had organised a pro-Hong Kong democracy demonstration.

“A year passed by and nothing was done against the attackers. Two 60 Minutes episodes aired, and all of a sudden the Queensland Police had managed to identify those involved and pursued charges.

“Similarly, the Federal Government has been slow to act until I announced my intent for a parliamentary inquiry into foreign influence at UQ, during a press conference in Brisbane.”

Mr Katter said there was hope for independent operators in the new media landscape, and they should benefit from Federal Government assistance.

“The North West Star, Mareeba Express and Wet Tropic Times are servicing their readers well with strong on the ground local coverage. If others could follow their model it would be excellent for rural and regional communities.

“What you watch on the TV news in the evening, it will have come from the paper that you read in the morning – such is the great influence of a newspaper.”


Contact Details

P: (07) 4061 6066
F: (07) 4061 6566
Visit: Cnr Edith and Owen St
Post: PO Box 1638
Innisfail, Qld 4860

Mount Isa
P: (07) 4743 3534
F: (07) 4743 0189
Visit: 42-44 Simpson St
Post: PO Box 2130
Mount Isa, Qld 4825

(when Parliament is sitting)
P: (02) 6277 4978
F: (02) 6277 8558

Local Call within the electorate
P: 1300 301 942

Email: Bob.Katter.MP@aph.gov.au