The best type of power is often the power that goes unnoticed. This could be the perfect quote for Australia’s leading commercial media owners. Between the lines of every newspaper article, within unforgettable images printed on billboards and Internet pages, hide the most influential people in Australia’s news, and they are the Murdoch’s, the Gordon’s, the Packers and Kerry Stokes. These names have defined, redefined political and led the public of Australia’s thoughts and influences in the last twenty years.
Yet, without the public, the media would be nothing, which is why it is so important that we understand where the information comes from, who controls it and why it is presented in the way it is. The Australian Communications and Media Authority is Australia’s central body of regulating and governing the broadcasting of content through media. It regulates, generates and produces codes of practice to ensure political views aren’t too widely distributed to avoid bias, however this isn’t always achieved.
It is important to understand the context of each owner; as much as it is important to understand the content that one sees. For instance, The Murdoch’s Newspaper and radio companies continuously publish articles attacking particular political figures, for instance the infamous attack on Kevin Rudd. Another example is of Kerry Stokes’ influential role in promoting free speech. With various owners of these mass companies, there is a more balanced view of heated issues in the Australian communities.
Cross-Media ownership has become an increasingly hot topic with debates surrounding whether cross-ownership laws should be deregulated. The idea is that no company can own more than two entities, in which Malcolm Turnbull is currently reviewing. This poses the question that if companies have control over multiple newspaper or radio stations, there would be no diversity of information of opinion, discouraging communities to have their own voice and formulate individual opinions.
“whoever controls the media controls the mind,” if we want to take back that control, we need to know where it comes from.
ACMA, 2014, Australia Communications and Media Authority, viewed 23rd March 2014, http://www.acma.gov.au/
Lamb, B, 2014, Australian Media Ownership, Lesson Bucket 2014, viewed 24th March 2014, http://lessonbucket.com/vce-media/unit-2/australian-media/australian-media-ownership/
McKnight, D, 2013, “Murdoch and His influence on Australian political life” 7th AUgust 2013, The Conversation, viewed 24th March 2014 http://theconversation.com/murdoch-and-his-influence-on-australian-political-life-16752
Morrison, J, Good reads, viewed 27th March 2014 http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/control
White, D, 2014, “Lachlan Murdoch’s move make Ten Purchase difficult for News” WA today 27th March 2014, viewed 27th March 2014 http://www.watoday.com.au/business/lachlan-murdochs-move-makes-ten-purchase-difficult-for-news-20140327-35jmf.html
White, et all, 2014, “Scrap cross-media ownership rules: Fairfax” 27th February 2014, viewed 26th March 2014 http://www.smh.com.au/business/media-and-marketing/scrap-crossmedia-ownership-rules-fairfax-20140224-33chq.html