Kirsty Hess and Lisa Waller argue in The Conversation (2.3.16):
‘Before media reform becomes a runaway train, we need to return to the drawing board and rethink the maps that define and guide broadcasters on reporting news for “local areas”.
‘The very idea of “local” is inherently tied to the way people connect with and consider themselves part of a physical place, often synonymous with areas like neighbourhoods, suburbs, towns and small cities. But the boundaries are never clearly defined and can be interpreted differently depending on our place in the world. ‘Regional TV networks benefit from drawing and defining local areas on policymakers’ maps. But, this is not often scrutinised.
‘In light of their Save Our Voices campaign, regional broadcasters have an obligation to represent local communities in the way their glossy promotional website advocates. As they say, rural and regional Australians deserve more than tokenistic media coverage of their regions.’