I turned on my iPhone radio app to see what Luke was ranting about yesterday and it was, well, rantless.
The online Hot Tomato simulcasts relied upon by Gold Coasters who are out of town or have patchy radio reception (like me) have been turned off.
Which is probably the only way you could silence Luke. The simulcasts were turned off because it is the only option for about 200 small, regional stations across Australia to avoid the dastardly double dipping of multi-national record companies.
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These multi-national companies have decided stations which have put their programs online should pay an additional copyright fee. Greedy multi-nationals!
This is despite it being the exact same content they have already paid for under their costly broadcast licences and which does not attract any extra revenue from advertisers. The Gold Coast’s most senior federal MP Steve Ciobo once understood the importance of protecting local media voices. I wonder what has changed?
Oh, that’s right, the government. “The radio market on the Gold Coast … has wafer-thin margins … local radio licence holders are finding it particularly difficult to maintain a profitable business. (The Gold Coast) is well serviced by people with a strong connection … who understand the significance of local content,” he said in Parliament back in 2012.
But now his side is in government and he is in a position to actually support small local businesses against these multi-national devils, all we have heard from him is the sound of crickets.
Which is rather surprising because there is nothing Mr Ciobo likes more than displaying himself on radio and television.
So it seems the massive $16.5 billion multinational record industry is more important to the government than the local radio. Shame!
We are not talking about giant networks which won’t even notice the extra fees being demanded but small family businesses, employing local people and broadcasting matters of local importance. It is 2014 – the information age – we should be allowed to listen to our local stations however we choose.
And I thought we wanted more diversity in the media? Slamming independent radio stations is certainly not going to help them survive in a tough economy.
If you agree Mr Ciobo should take some time out from his national media appearances to support his local media give him a call.
I’m sure he will be delighted to hear from you.
Steven Ciobo (Liberal MP) Moncrieff
Phone: 07 5504 6000
Fax: 07 5504 6944
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