Printing in England and Broadcasting in Australia: A Comparative Study of Regulatory Impulse
22 Pages Posted: 24 May 2001
This article compares official regulation of printing in England from 1484 to 1695, with the regulation of broadcasting in Australia from 1905 to 2000. This comparison reveals a consistent government impulse to regulate new means of communication, until the time that new means becomes uncontrollable by regulation. It also reveals that during the period of official control, industry incumbents tend to enter into a symbiotic relationship with government. Under the terms of that relationship, regulatory compliance is accepted in return for protection from competition. The article concludes by criticising both the impulse to regulate, and the consequential relationship that emerges between government and media incumbents. It also suggests that technology-neutral and industry-neutral regulation is the only means by which regulation of public communications can be logically considered. This may be only achievable through the creation of new international content norms.
JEL Classification: K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation