Federal MPs have passed two of the Government's contentious media reform bills, but Labor faces an uphill fight to have the rest succeed.

The two bills that passed pertain to commercial TV licence fees and the level of local content broadcast.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has taken charge of negotiations with key crossbench MPs, most of whom have been .

The debate comes after a sensational Question Time yesterday that saw , before being forced to withdraw a remark in which she referred to Tony Abbott as a misogynist.

The Coalition used Question Time to pressure the Government over their media reforms, after senior Labor frontbencher .

But Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has refused to budge from his ultimatum that the legislation must be passed by Thursday, which is the final sitting day for seven weeks.

The Government's proposal to establish a new watchdog called the Public Interest Media Advocate, who is appointed by the minister of the day, seems doomed to fail.

But a compromise proposal suggested by independent MP Bob Katter may yet win support.

Mr Katter wants to ensure the advocate is appointed by a committee of eminent citizens, including senior journalists, Aboriginal representatives and retirees - not politicians.

His crossbench colleague Tony Windsor says the idea has some merit.

"What I am picking up among the crossbench is they would consider looking at it," he told ABC News 24.

"I won't get into who's who in the zoo but suffice to say there are a number of people who think the concept could be worth looking at."

Mr Windsor believes the amendment could be sorted out to meet the Government's deadline.

"Things happen in a big hurry in this place if people put their mind to it."

Mr Windsor had discussed the change with the Prime Minister and said she was interested in finding out how it could work.

Senior media executives have argued the laws could limit free speech, but Ray Finkelstein, the man who headed the Government's inquiry into media regulation, says that is unlikely.

He says the Government's proposed laws would force editors to apologise if their media outlet made a serious mistake.

"And it is a relatively minor imposition on press freedom and probably no restriction on free speech," he said.

In Question Time yesterday, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott challenged Ms Gillard to treat the media legislation as a test of confidence in her government, challenging her to call an immediate election if the bills fail.

But Ms Gillard told him the election date had been set and added she was a "strong feisty woman" who was confident of victory.

Meanwhile, division has also spread to a parliamentary committee which has failed to report on whether or not to abolish the rule that limits TV stations to broadcasting to 75 per cent of the nation.

Labor says the rule is redundant because TV stations can broadcast to the nation via the internet.

But if the rule was scrapped, commercial TV stations could merge with regional affiliates, sparking concern about news, weather and sport coverage in some regional areas.

The committee says it will continue to deliberate until next month.

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