NEWSPAPERS and magazines could be fined up to $30,000 for “exceptionally grave” or persistent breaches of media standards.
In a submission to Julia Gillard’s media inquiry, the Press Council has also raised the prospect of securing government funding to expand its coverage to online news and “blog” websites.
And it suggests newspapers could be censured or reprimanded “where appropriate” under sanctions to boost public confidence in the media.
The Press Council part-funded by News Limited has fired the opening shots in the Government’s media inquiry with a series of options to beef-up public sanctions against sloppy journalism.
These include a new panel, headed by a retired judge, with the power to impose fines against newspapers or magazines of up to $30,000.
In a letter to the media inquiry, chair Julian Disney said the Press Council was “currently considering” such a process but also raised concerns it could become “legalistic and time-consuming”.