There is a long tradition of media owners in Australia invoking press freedom to trump calls for frameworks to ensure accountability and ethical behaviour, especially at News Ltd.

There are two main ways of thinking about freedom of expression in the context of a democracy.

One way concentrates on freedom of the press. This tends to emphasise the importance of an unrestrained press to hold others accountable. From that point of view, the more power the press has the better.

The other way puts the emphasis on communication — access to information and a voice for all groups. This second way assumes that the media marketplace is not an even playing field and that some steps may be taken by governments to protect the rights of less powerful groups and individuals.

Chances of better media accountability in Australia may be slim, but that's no reason to remain silent

You can read the rest of the piece I wrote on this theme for New Matilda on July 19, 2011 here