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Union Calls For Tax Breaks For Aus Media

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

31 July 2017

Australia's Media, Entertainment, and Arts Alliance (MEEA) has called for the introduction of a number of new tax breaks to support public interest journalism.

MEEA has published its submission to the Senate Select Committee's inquiry into the future of public interest journalism. MEEA is a union and industry advocate for Australian journalists.

According to the submission, "The digital disruption that has transformed the media has shaken everything we knew about our industry. There is no certainty. The audience is fragmented. That fragmentation has savaged revenue streams." It added that this loss of revenue has prompted media outlets to initiate redundancies as part of broader attempts to cut costs.

MEEA said that there are now "vital areas of Australian life that are not being scrutinized and reported on by the media for the benefit of Australian audiences because of the loss of so many journalist 'boots on the ground.'"

MEEA recommended that the Government consider introducing a levy on news aggregators, possibly in the region of one percent. It also stated that the Government should tax media organizations that disseminate editorial content they have not created to an audience that then attracts advertisers, "to effectively recover lost revenue from content creators and return it to the media organizations in the form of tax relief, subsidies, training, re-training, and public broadcasting."

Elsewhere the submission argued that tax deductible news subscriptions should be made available, to encourage people to pay for and support Australian news media. Additionally, it called for tax incentives for rural and regional news outlets, and for the extension of charitable or tax-exempt status to public interest journalism.

TAGS: tax | tax incentives | training | Australia | cultural heritage | tax rates | tax breaks | tax reform | trade association | trade

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