Let’s re-enter the realm that was the early 17th Century where Kings and Queens sat upon a cushioned seat, crown placed on their heads and manipulating the nobles of the country in order ensure that it was fully under their reign.
Fast forward to today, remove the cushioned seat and replace the crown to newspaper, television and radio and there you have it. The rulers of the media world.
Australia has one of the highest concentration of media in the world where just four big names—Murdoch, Rinehart, Packer and Stokes control multiple media platforms within Australia.
Australia is a free country, but is it really as free as we had previously thought?
With Rupert Murdoch owning Newscorp and 150 titles in Australia covering all areas of publishing, broadcasting, movie and television production, its hard not to intake the biased opinions of censored information and news that is thrown at the public on a daily basis.
Major media outlets such as ‘The Daily Telegraph’, HarperCollins Publishers, 20th Century Fox and Foxtel each target different audiences across the spectrum thus allowing for the same biased messaged to flow across all mediums.
The introduction of a new “Two out of Three’ rule in 2006 meant that any one person cannot own all three media platforms: daily newspaper, radio and television. This rule was set into motion due to growing internet phenomenon at the time promoting the convergence of media. Before this rule, content was restricted to one form of publication thus restricting media ownership.
It is due to this rule that Rupert Murdoch owns a large portion of television and newspapers within Australia under the News Corp company.
Does it matter who owns the media?
With a select handful of media owners, the information or viewpoints expressed will be strictly subjective. The audience is unable to make a full informed decision as they are not exposed to the ‘other’ side of the story, thus producing likeminded individuals with a society void of discussion.
Consequently, this ‘subjective’ view becomes the altered ‘truth’ as it is the only source of information given—thus a hyper-reality. This censorship of information is used for personal gain and political movements.
This is supported by The Frankfurt School based in Marxist critical thinking where the dominant ideology refers to the spreading of mass media that are reflective of the values of the dominant media owners where alternate views are dismissed.
The class which has the means of material production at its disposal has control …of those who lack the means of… production [audience].
Consequently, the 2013 Federal election demonstrated battle scars from this dominant ideology where Rupert Murdoch and News Corp used their media outlets as a form of propaganda to sway the audience into an anti-Labor frame of mind. News headlines such as ‘Kick this mob out’, ‘Does this guy ever shut up?’ were published against the Labor leader Kevin Rudd. Due to this censorship of information of party campaigns, the daily telegraph produced 6 articles that were Pro-Labor, 43 Po-Coalition (Liberal) articles, 134 anti-Labor articles, and 5 Anti-Coalition articles.
Evidently, these articles did influence the audience, naming Liberal victorious. Therefore proving the enormous impact concentrated media ownership has on the audience and their decision-making. As a result, the Australia Media and Communications Authority has enforced diversity of ownership as it does matter who owns the media.
Goldsmith. B, 2015, ‘Turnbull’s media reforms might not go far enough for Murdoch’s liking’, The Conversation, viewed 26 March 2015, <http://theconversation.com/turnbulls-media-reforms-might-not-go-far-enough-for-murdochs-liking-38840>
Chandler. D, 2000 Marxist Media Theory, ideology, pp. 4, viewed 26 March 2015, <http://www.cym.ie/documents/chandler.pdf>
McNair, B, Holmes, D (2013) ‘Election 2013:the role of the media’, image, The Conversation, viewed 20 April 2015 <http://theconversation.com/election-2013-the-role-of-the-media-17543>
The final Tele tally, television program, Media Watch, Australia, 9 September 2015,< http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s3844761.htm>