As the capabilities of digital television begin, eventually, to be realized in Australia, and content is increasingly available across a variety of platforms, it will be necessary to reconsider the approach to regulation of content. Whilst the Australian Government shows itself willing to respond to consumer concerns about inappropriate or harmful content on these new platforms, it less clear whether and how the interests of the public as ‘citizen’ will be recognized and reflected in the regulatory framework. In a multi-channel environment, where content is increasingly likely to be purchased, it will be easy to slip into a rhetoric which views the public only from a customer and consumer perspective. There is very little consideration of the public’s interest as ‘citizen’. Current proposals for reform of the EU Television without Frontiers Directive are an attempt to address the question of content regulation across a variety of delivery platforms, but these proposals are limited. This paper considers the nature of citizen and consumer interests in the context of media policy, and explores the space for the citizen in the digital regulatory environment.
Communications Law | Cyberspace Law
Date of this Version
Lesley Hitchens, "Citizen versus Consumer in the Digital World" (June 2007). University of New South Wales Faculty of Law Research Series. Working Paper 37.