Saturday, 21 October 2006

The end of an Age?

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.

4 comments:

Don't mock the media. said...

Hi there,
I've been reading about this stuff a lot too and I agree, the last thing I need is for Packer or Murdoch to tell me what I should be reading or watching..

That being said, I've noticed you have quite a bit of stuff re: the media on your blog, and I just made my own blog with humourous quotes etc. which I come across during the course of my job. So far there are only 5 clips up, but I figure that knowing someone (somewhere) is reading it will only help convince me to keep finding more.

Hope you'll drop in and then spread the word :)

Renwick said...

I completely agree, and it's one of the many reasons I have gained and intense dislike of Helen Coonan.

We all know of the way the Fox news network operates in America I would hate to see how the Murdock news would be shown here.

Correct me if I am wrong, but it looks like we can't do anything about it.

Moshe Reuveni said...

First to Don't Mock the Media: Good luck with your blog. I can tell you that from my experience, a following is really hard to gather. I now blog mostly because I enjoy it and not because of the crowds it attracts.

And as for Renwick's comment: No, I don't think there's anything we can do about those stupid media laws. Other than talking about it a lot in order to reduce their chances for re-elections.

Moshe Reuveni said...

P.S. You don't have to look as far as the USA's Fox News to see how Murdoch works. Just look at the Herald and see what a dumbed down newspaper looks like; I think its articles are an insult to human intelligence.