Australia defends media reforms amid 'Stalinism' claims
SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia defended proposed media reforms arising from Britain's phone-hacking scandal on Wednesday after a heated backlash from media baron Rupert Murdoch's local operations, which labelled them dictatorial.
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy was condemned after unveiling the changes, which will include a new public interest test for major mergers and stronger self-regulation requirements for the print media.
News Limited, Mr Murdoch's Australian arm, was particularly strident in its commentary, likening Mr Conroy on the front page of its Sydney Daily Telegraph tabloid to leaders including Kim Jong-Un and Robert Mugabe.
The newspaper lampooned Mr Conroy as Stalin in a doctored image imposing his face on the former Soviet dictator's body.