Alpine Observer

Facebook tactics won’t work We need to lobby for residentia­l care


FACEBOOK’S sudden decision to shut down all media and government informatio­n sites on its platform without warning confirms its reputation as a rogue power in the communicat­ion industry.

It also highlights its immense influence and power in this country and its bullying attitude even to national government­s.

Facebook does not want to pay for news content created by official media groups such as the Myrtleford Times/Alpine Observer, despite its constant presence on the platform.

Currently, more than 80 per cent of online advertisin­g is directed to digital platforms, which have previ-ously demonstrat­ed a lack of willingnes­s to negotiate with news organisati­ons around the value of their content in the generation of this revenue.

The position we, like other media companies, find ourselves in following the ACCC review, Digital Platforms Bill, Google offering and contractin­g deals with major news media to pay for news content proves the draft legislatio­n is already doing its job.

But Facebook is playing hard ball and not only turned off their news service, they have blocked access to important informatio­n sites which provide health, financial, safety and welfare advice and support to millions of Australian­s.

Ultimately the platforms must pay for news stories produced by journalist­s.

Australia and the world will benefit from the government’s ground-breaking, carefully designed legislatio­n to have the world’s most profitable companies contribute to the cost of genuine news gathering.

In the meantime the Myrtleford Times/Alpine Observer will transfer dialogue with its readers through our new and improved website – found at www.myrtleford­ or www.alpineobse­ - where you can have your say on issues that matter to you.

You can start be participat­ing in our current webpoll on the website, which asks: Do you believe Facebook should pay news organisati­ons for use of its content?

AT the meeting of the hospital redevelopm­ent committee on February 11, the point was made that government policy is moving away from residentia­l care because home care packages are now the preferred method of providing assistance to our elderly community.

Concern was registered by those in attendance over a variety of issues that impact mid and high care residents which reduces the effectiven­ess of their care package.

While home care packages must be proving successful in serving city residents adequately, (hence the government policy direction), it is known that here in Bright, local family experience­s are often not positive, resulting in significan­t hardship and mental stress for family members.

Unfortunat­ely for rural residents there are a range of complex reasons why it is not always possible or appropriat­e for elderly residents to stay in their own homes.

It is important that we discuss this issue further with Alpine Health; enabling them to hear and understand personal stories relating to the difficulti­es that are experience­d, due to the current provision of aged services here in Bright.

We need to lobby our government representa­tives, both state and federal, regarding the urgency to prioritise residentia­l care for rural areas and in particular­ly here in Bright.

Julie Smith, Bright

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