Well, if you live in Australia then you must have heard by now that Rupert Murdoch bought some 7.5% of the shares of Fairfax, his biggest Australian competitor in the newspaper arena and the publisher of my favorite Australian newspaper, The Age.
And it's all possible with the release of the new media laws by Helen Coonan, our beloved Minister for Communications. For the un-Australian amongst thee I'll explain the new legislation in one sentence: whereas before one company could only have a limited presence in the media, to avoid one company from ruling it all, now the chains are much looser.
Thing is, I fail to understand the benefits of this new legislation. What good is going to come to the Australian public if fewer companies provide for TV and newspapers?
Well, it seems that I'm not the only one dumbfounded by this question. Absolutely no one that was interviewed and asked this question was able to provide an answer, and the cynical consensus among those that are not related to the government is that this was all just to please a few people - the three currently in control of Australian media, Packer Stokes and Murdoch. Thing is, these three are making so much money anyway, I don't see the point is us bothering to sacrifice the quality of our media just to ensure their great-great-great-great-great grandchildren are still guaranteed to be billionaires.
Naturally, you can trust John Howard to explain it all: Australia, says Howard, is too small a media market; it needs some consolidation to survive. Personally, I don't see where he got this one from; I didn't exactly hear of any media owner complaining of financial troubles. If anything, I did read repeated articles in The Age this week saying how its people are afraid of the outcomes and declaring that they want to continue with what they refer to as proper journalism.
Yet again we are being sold to big companies. Yet the government makes sure we will be dumbed down enough for it to win subsequent elections.