The majority voted against a motion that would have added certain words (see below) to the usual second reading motion that the bill be read for a second time (which means that the Senate agrees with the main idea of the bill).
At the end of the motion, add:
", but the Senate:
(a) notes that the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund was agreed by the Turnbull Liberal Government as part of a back-room deal with the then Nick Xenophon team in exchange for support for the repeal of the 2 out of 3 cross-media control rule in 2017;
(b) notes that the Government's disastrous record on media diversity and public interest journalism includes:
(i) removal of a key media diversity safeguard which prevented even greater consolidation in Australia's already highly concentrated media sector with the repeal of the 2 out of 3 cross-media control rule;
(ii) budget cuts of hundreds of millions of dollars from the ABC and SBS, which are trusted sources of investigative journalism in Australia;
(iii) pushing community television off the broadcast platform to an online delivery model without an adequate transition period;
(iv) threatening journalists with criminal sanctions simply for doing their jobs under the National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill 2017;
(v) policy inaction in the face of the loss of more than 3000 journalism jobs in Australia over the past five years;
(c) notes that media diversity and support for public interest journalism are not mutually exclusive and that Australia needs both;
(d) calls on the Government to stop actively undermining media diversity and public interest journalism in Australia;
(e) calls on the Turnbull Government to drop its destructive attack on the ABC; and
(f) calls on the Government to support media diversity and public interest journalism in Australia.".