There’s an Australian government body, the ACCC, that regulates commercial competition, ostensibly new behalf of the consumer but, as we will discover, perhaps not.
Firstly though, let’s crack that old joke, “why is there only one anti-monopoly agency?”.
The ironically-named “competition tsar”, Rod Sims says;
“I was getting the response of people saying ‘isn’t this just creative destruction? You know, classic Schumpeter, the way the world works?” he said in an interview ahead of the speech. “Well… it isn’t. This isn’t just like the car taking over from the horse and buggy, or more recently, Uber taking over from the taxi”.
What is it then?
The internet has been accessible to the majority of Australians since the mid 1990s. Therefore the value destruction of print media and journalists’ careers has been one of the most signalled disruptive industry changes in several generations, yet somehow the media organisations failed to adapt.
The ACCC estimates that the number of journalists employed in the print sector fell by 20 per cent in the three years to 2017; while between 2006 and 2016 the number of journalists employed by traditional publishers fell 26 per cent.
Let’s remind ourselves what those employed in news media are supposed to do every day they come to work…
The harsh reality is their real job description was, “produce interesting content that captures an audience for advertising”.
Perhaps the journalists would prefer something more worthy like, “identify and investigate important changes in the status quo and inform their customers”.
Either way, they’ve failed spectacularly.
From the mid 1990s, traditional news media failed to spot the impact the internet, cheap mobile phone data and smart/camera phones would have on their profession.
Which is a bit of a problem if your job is called “the news“.
Please don’t make us pay to keep this rubbish alive any longer than it needs to be.