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).
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.
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