News boss hits back at media reforms

News Ltd chief Kim Williams has accused the federal government of setting up a review of media practices because it did not like the reporting of some of the company's newspapers.

Mr Williams says he is deeply concerned about the media reforms proposed by the Finkelstein and Convergence reviews, which were set up by the government.

"I find it, as I hope all of you do, deeply concerning we have reached a place where words like government, journalist and jailing can all appear in the same sentence when describing a report by a retired judge," he told the Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers' Association (PANPA) forum in Sydney.

The Convergence Review has called for a new communications regulator as well as a controversial public interest test for prospective media company owners to help protect diversity.

Mr Williams said there was a political motivation for the review headed by Ray Finkelstein QC, which was established in the wake of the News International phone hacking scandal in the UK.

"For our overseas visitors, it may strike you as odd that there are two reports into the media at the same time," he said.


"The reason for this is that the Finkelstein Review was set up after the Convergence Review kicked off.


"Because some political parties did not like some reporting - frankly mainly from some News Limited journalists and papers."

Mr Williams also said the company remained committed to its newspaper business, despite its current overhaul of its news operations.

"Each week, the papers that News Ltd prints are read by more than half the population of Australia.

"So, we remain strongly committed to print in our product mix it has much energetic life in it still."