Why it matters who owns the media.

Media ownership around the globe is a pretty big thing. The fact that in todays society media plays such a major role in almost everyones lives, media ownership has the power to shape and influence the globe. The Government creates set rules in order to ensure media diversity and that ownership is fair and not one sided. The SBS states that ‘These rules apply to commercial broadcasting licences and licensee companies, individuals and companies who control them and to directors of such companies’ (x). Media ownership is in decline and this could be a very bad thing for viewers everywhere.

At current times Australian Media is owned by 4 key people; Bruce Gordon, Gina Rinehart, Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Stokes. Between these 4 key owners they either own or share the likes of Fairfax, Channel 7, Ten, Win and a large number of newspapers and radio stations. For four people to dominate the Australian media we definitely see their perspective come out within their shares.

In March 2015 Tony Abbott considered a proposal by Malcolm Turnbull (Communications Minister) in order to relax media ownership laws. This has come from a lack of consensus in the industry (Knott, 2015). Doing this would help prevent major companies merging with each other and dominating over the media.

The media has been turned into a Propaganda machine since the days of World War 2 when Hitler took control of the media. The use of propaganda on TV and radio was used in order to show the threat of the Jewish to Germans. This shows that the media can be controlled and distorted in order to promote and publicise political power and its doings.  This can still be seen today in news and television with different media companies being directly associated with political parties.

We now have this greater divide between High and Low Culture media. This could be due to the Political drive that has come from a less diverse media ownership. From the days of art, classical music and radio we now see Film and TV, Mass Entertainment and Popular Fiction which are all dominated and controlled by the big industries. On a global scale the media is mainly owned by 4 companies Disney, CBS, NBC and Time Warner and in a time of media convergence this is not necessarily a good thing (x).

media-ownership

In the mind map above you can see the great scale of how these 4 companies can own so much. This makes copyright laws and public influence much stronger and almost impossible for smaller companies to produce against the major networks.

David Donovan, a writer for Independent Australia Pty, stated in 2011 that the concentration of media ownership in Australia is alarming and that for the sake of democracy that we must support independent media (2011). Australians have less voices when it comes to making their decisions which does not quite fit the ideology of democracy.

I think this proves that it does matter who owns the media and at a current point of time we don’t really have a good balance. The major companies need to relax on the amount of media that they own and not be so forceful with opinions within the media. It would be better and greater for us all to have balanced and equal information rather then one sided opinions.

Sources in order:

http://www.acma.gov.au/Industry/Broadcast/Media-ownership-and-control/Ownership-and-control-rules/media-control-requirements-limitations-on-control-acma

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/malcolm-turnbull-moves-to-scrap-key-media-ownership-restrictions-20150313-143leg.html

http://www.theglobalmovement.info/wp/areas-of-focus/global-financial-war/who-controls-the-media

https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/concentrated-media-ownership-a-crisis-for-democracy,3259

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3 thoughts on “Why it matters who owns the media.

  1. Media Ownership essentially control’s the way in which society is able to view, form an opinion on and understand information they receive. One of the many deceitful aspects of media ownership is that it is entirely crafted and presented to have an effect on the public, to alter opinions on many political and social issues. The concentrated ownership of the media provides convenience for the country’s biggest media players; Rupert Murdoch, Bruce Gordon, Gina Rinehart, and Kerry Stokes. They are able to reach society on a mass level and use their propaganda to attempt to sway people to support their newest escapades and therefore make money. A great example of this is the Liberal government’s opposition to the acceptance of refugees, especially those whom seek asylum via travelling to Australia by boat, each facet of society and the political spectrum presents a different opinion to the public, such as the Sydney Morning Herald’s article titled ‘Tony Abbott, its time to act on the harm we are causing asylum seekers on Nauru’, showing its opposition to the Abbott government’s steadfast approach to detaining those whom seek refuge in our country. Nauru has proven to be an unhealthy and detrimental place for those who have already faced poverty and injustice to reside while simply trying to save and better their lives, like all human’s strive to do. The Sydney Morning Herald is owned by Fairfax Media, its current biggest shareholder is Gina Rineheart whom has alliances with big businesses and therefore the Liberal government. Despite the Herald’s slogan being ‘Independent. Always’ it falls under one of the main media owners, with Gina Rineheart having the highest share in Fairfax Media. Another media article from the Mercury titled ‘Abbott on Nauru child abuse: “occasionally… things happen”’ shows the opinion of the Prime minister in supporting Nauru, using prolific societal issues such as sexual assault as a ploy to try and show the poor judgement the PM has when dealing with this policy. One of the biggest influences of the Media is Rupert Murdoch, he has a mass media sphere in which he is able to reach billions of people throughout the world. Murdoch owns News Corp and 21st Century Fox, and utilises his media empire to attempt to further his beliefs… such as his disbelief in climate change to escalate his own wealth through his interest in industries (shale oil, Genie oil, Gas Inc.) which are detrimental to the environment. Rineheart equally has interest in industry, her biggest being oil, a fossil fuel which has negative effects on the planet. Murdoch claims that the ‘climate is always changing’ and that the increase of temperature of late is due to the normal cycle of the world, rather than humanities effect on the planet. He claims that a way to combat rising sea level’s is to ‘stop building vast houses on the seashore’ rather than stop the actual physical deprivation of the environment, to change our way of life means to consume less and be more environmentally conscience which is not in the interest of Murdoch as he will loose profits. He feels that altering our way of life to be more environmentally conscience would have a negative effect on Australia’s economy and therefore his means of furthering his wealth and empire. Concentrated media ownership prevents society from having a wide view of the world and a multitude of opinions, rather society is offered the same informations in papers and new publications such as The Daily Telegraph and The Australia but transformed and written in a different way based off of the target audience.

    Sources:
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/tony-abbott-its-time-to-act-on-the-harm-we-are-causing-asylum-seekers-on-nauru-20150325-1m6aa1.html
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/tony-abbott-its-time-to-act-on-the-harm-we-are-causing-asylum-seekers-on-nauru-20150325-1m6aa1.html

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  2. Nice post Eliza. As a person who was raised in a jewish community, the correlation between todays political influence on the media and the Nazi influence is even more clear, and I really liked that you pointed that out. I agree that the media, at it’s core, hasn’t changed a whole lot in terms of ownership, the same traits are there, and funnily enough, it seems like the people at the top of these major media empires have little to no remorse for current affairs; Rupert Murdoch was recently criticised for a tweet he sent out on the morning of the Sydney siege a couple of months ago, boasting that the Daily Telegraph got the coverage first –> (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/sydney-siege-rupert-murdoch-criticised-over-heartless-congratulations-tweet-9927863.html)

    Media ownership is really a hard issue to tackle, with the web of ownership so tangled its hard to work out who owns what. Take a look at this, Fairfax Media and Macquarie Radio Network underwent a merger, thereby shutting down the 2UE newsroom, and making the ability to comprehend Australia’s media ownership even harder… http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/abbott-to-meet-tv-executives-over-changes-to-media-ownership-20150411-1mj05f.html

    Either way, really liked your post and the points you raised, as someone who was REALLY confused about the whole aspect of media ownership, this helped me quite a bit. Awesome blog post!

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    1. Glad you find it helpful! Ownership of the media is so confusing and it’s definitely so sad to see the people who influence us so greatly to show little care about anything but politics and money! Thanks for commenting 🙂

      Like

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