Asia

Australia profile - Media

  • 26 April 2016
  • From the section Asia
Newspaper reader in Melbourne, Australia Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Australia has a lively media scene and is considered to have a relatively free press

Australia's media scene is creatively, technologically and economically advanced. There is a tradition of public broadcasting, but privately-owned TV and radio have the biggest audience share.

Ownership of print and broadcast media is highly-concentrated. Two companies - Murdoch-owned News Corp Australia and Fairfax Media - account for the bulk of newspaper sales.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) runs national and local public radio and TV. The other main public broadcaster is the multilingual Special Broadcasting Service (SBS).

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Australian Rupert Murdoch heads up News Corporation, one of the world's biggest media conglomerates

National commercial TV is dominated by three big free-to-air networks. Broadcasters must carry a minimum percentage of Australian-made programmes. Pay TV has a strong foothold.

Sports, news, game shows, imported and home-made dramas top the TV ratings. The industry has successfully exported its productions to English-speaking markets overseas.

Around 20.7 million Australians are online (Internetlivestats, 2016). Facebook is the top social media platform, with some 14 million users by the end of 2015, some way ahead of Twitter with 2.8 million active users (Socialmedianews.com.au).

The press

Television

Radio

  • ABC - public, operates speech-cultural network Radio National, ABC NewsRadio, youth network Triple J, ABC Classic FM and local services
  • Radio Australia - ABC external service, serves Asia-Pacific
  • SBS Radio - public, multilingual
  • Commercial Radio Australia - industry organisation

News agency/internet

  • AAP - Australian Associated Press
  • ABC News - public broadcaster's news site