Federal Parliament is getting its first look at the Government's proposed media laws after the bill was tabled this morning.

The package .

Federal Minister Anthony Albanese introduced the legislation to Parliament this morning.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy is insisting on a vote before the end of next week, but he does not have enough crossbench support.

Mr Albanese told Parliament that the public interest media advocate will oversee print and online news self-regulation.

"This bill offers a simple and effective way to strengthen and improve the self-regulatory framework for significant providers of print and online news free of government interference and for the benefit of the Australian public," he said.

Former Australian Competition and Consumer Commission boss Graeme Samuel has told AM that the plan will take power away from the community.

"The Government is attempting by this process to arrogate to themselves, that is through an appointed bureaucrat or public interest advocate, the right of consumers to make their own choice," he said.

Mr Samuel says Australians have never had so much diversity in news and commentary and change is not needed now.

"The consumer is becoming increasingly empowered and now what Government is saying is well we want to take part of that power away from the consumer," he said.

The Government wants a new public interest media advocate - a watchdog to oversee print and online self-regulation and to apply a public interest test to any future company mergers.

Chief Government Whip Joel Fitzgibbon has arguing for stronger press regulation in the wake of the Craig Thomson affair and the media's treatment of the embattled former Labor MP.

"I think media intrusion is a live issue out there in the Australian public but I think people will have more faith in the system," he said.


For his part, Mr Thomson, now an independent MP, is lining up with those against the proposals.

"I'm very concerned still about the uncertainty of the roles," he said.

"Having had a look at the legislation, I don't think it's clear at all how the public interest test is going to work, the oversight and those sorts of things, let alone the argument about the need for it."

Mr Thomson has told ABC News 24 that despite his own concerns about the way his case has been covered by the media, the Government's package is not good enough.

"If you were really looking at how you reform the media, then this isn't the package that's actually doing it," he said.

"It's picking a fight but it's not going to deliver any sorts of outcomes that are going to make our media more responsive, better in any sense that I can see.

"So for those reasons I think it's very, very difficult to support."

Fellow former ACCC head Allan Fels says a public interest test for media mergers was recommended by the ACCC 10 years ago but the debate is different now.

"Can the Government, can the regulators really make the right decisions in this world of fast changing technology?" he said.

"They have to be a bit careful about not making errors but I don't want to say that they should never act."

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