Media ownership. I’ll admit, I’d never really given it a second thought and until now, I’d never consider how much it impacts my daily life. But upon being asked to consider ‘Why does it matter who ‘controls’ the media’, my research led me to believe that those with more economic status and indeed, those with more financial authority, have the dominance to influence an entire nation.
It is to my understanding that media ownership has been restricted to an extremely limited number, but regardless of that number, these figures of supremacy have no difficulty monopolizing the mass media market. So does it matter who controls the media? What are the possible repercussions of such unprecedented power? For one, we have the immoral development and increase of corporate businessmen who possess unfavourable power purely because of their financial status. For another, we have the unethical influence that these individuals obtain, resulting in a multitude of perceptions being changed or altered to fit a ‘seeming’ majority. We can also see a HUGE opportunity for bias and self-advancement.
Rupert Murdoch is a prime example of these consequences listed. He is famously known for owning 70% of Australia’s newspapers as well as a various amount of online newspapers. Some would argue that this amount of control is dangerous, and i would agree with them. Murdoch has been convicted numerous times of subjectivity, specifically in regards to politics. David Flicking states that “..Labor leader Rudd has been depicted as a bungling Nazi commandant, Kermit the Frog and a bank robber in Sydney’s best-selling Daily Telegraph..“, undoubtably dehumanising the politician and restricting the views of the public. Murdoch also illustrated his bias views on the front page of his ‘Daily Telegraph’, taking advantage of the first day of the election campaign with an image of Kevin Rudd with the prominent caption of “Kick This Mob Out”.
Paul Sheehan proclaims that “...Why Murdoch wants Rudd to lose the coming federal election is not merely political, it is commercial. News Corp hates the government’s National Broadband Network (NBN)...”. Murdoch sees this as a threat as a NBN would sabotage his ‘Foxtel’ TV operation due to efficient downloading of movies, music and other content.
These words emphasise a personal vendetta against Rudd that is not only unethical but unprofessional, supporting the theory that who controls the media and how that media is controlled is crucial to society.
– David Fickling 2013, ‘Rudd Sees Bias as Murdoch-Owned Media Dominate Australian Readers’, bloomburg.com, 28/03/14, < http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-27/rudd-sees-bias-as-murdoch-owned-media-dominate-australia-readers.html >
– David McKnight 2013, ‘Murdoch and his influence on Australian political life’, theconversation.com, 28/03/14, < http://theconversation.com/murdoch-and-his-influence-on-australian-political-life-16752
– Paul Sheehan 2013, ‘Murdoch’s vicious attacks on Rudd: it’s business’, smh.com.au, 30/03/14 < http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2013/murdochs-vicious-attacks-on-rudd-its-business-20130803-2r65x.html >
– Image Source: 2013, ‘Daily Telegraph’, dailytelegraph.com.au, 30/03/14 < http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/consign-rudd-to-the-bin-of-history/story-fni0cwl5-1226691046953 >