Media Release

AAP the Canary in the Coalmine on News Sustainability

Free TV Australia said that the closure of Australian Associated Press (AAP) announced today was a reminder of the need for real action to address the ongoing sustainability of Australian media companies in the face of unprecedented disruption and change.

Free TV CEO, Bridget Fair said “Today’s AAP announcement is a sad reminder of the pressures that Australian media businesses currently face. The work of AAP and its journalists was highly valued by Free TV members.”

“This shines a big, bright light on the impact that digital giants Google and Facebook are having on Australia’s media landscape.

“In response to the ACCC Digital Platforms Inquiry, the Government has required that Google and Facebook negotiate bargaining Codes of Conduct to redress the substantial power imbalance between them and Australia’s media businesses.

“This also shows the urgency of reform of Australia’s archaic media regulations. It is simply not sustainable for our media businesses to continue to operate under regulations from the last century in areas such as Australian content quotas and advertising restrictions.

“Today’s sad decision to close AAP only serves to emphasise that there is no time to waste in finalising both the bargaining Code and regulatory reform. The risk of Australians losing their trusted, local news services is real and it is here now.

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