I want to start with the daily routine of many. Think about it — you wake up, eat breakfast whilst possibly reading the paper or watching the morning news. You then jump in the car and listen to the radio where the news is broadcasted every hour. You get to work or school and you talk about what’s happening in the world. Then, after a long day, you go home, kick back and once again get news thrown at you by the TV or internet. Every day, media corporations open fire and bombard you with controlled messages. But does it matter who is in control of this media? I sure think so.
Within Australia, media ownership is dominated by a handful of very powerful people; our media ownership diversity is so poor, that we are ranked 26th in the world according to the 2014 Press Freedom Index. Fairfax Media and News Corp are the two most dominant media moguls in Australia and therefore hold a huge amount of influence over the information we receive. Our societies ideology of the media is that we are seeing all sides of a story. However, with news organisations owning and controlling multiple channels of communication, diversity is extremely diminished. One corporation’s view on a story is pushed across all news sources that the corporation owns. A story that may be told on one channel is likely to be told over multiple channels. This pushes the agenda and ideologies of the owners of that corporation and as the audience, we are subjected to bias, both on purpose and accidentally. For example, if Gina Rinehart, Fairfax’s largest shareholder, was to receive her request of 3 board seats and a say in editorial decisions, it would destroy the last major newspapers that have a slightly different perspective to the Murdoch Press (News Corp) by offering reduced, limited information with narrow boundaries, all based around Rinehart’s opinions which will further her business interests. This is why I think media ownership is so important, we need a wider range of corporations to offer differing opinions and views on current events and not just a singular view held by a handful of corporations.
Just for a bit of novelty – one interpretation of Australian media (warning, very course language). Enjoy!
Ditchburn, J. 2006, Future Media Ownership Remote, image, INKCINCT cartoons, viewed 28 March 2014
Fraser, M. 2012, Malcolm Fraser: Does it matter who owns our papers? Yes it does, The Conversation, viewed 28 March 2014,
INKCINCT 2007, Media Diversity Will Not Suffer, image, INKCINCT cartoons, viewed 28 March 2014
Leboucher P. and Ratovo D. 2014, World Press Freedom Index 2014, Reporters Without Borders, viewed 28 March 2014
Turnbull, S. 2014, ‘Media Mythbusting: Information Just Wants to Be Free Week 4′, lecture, BCM110, University of Wollongong, delivered 25 March 2014.
YOURVIEW, 2012, Gina Rinehart’s takeover of Fairfax is a good thing, YourView, viewed 28 March 2014,