Malcolm Turnbull tries to buy Australian media support at taxpayers expense

Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberal Party are proposing changes to media laws and taxation that is clearly designed to buy the support of the major media companies and their owners. The people who will be paying for it are Australian taxpayers to the tune of well over $100 million.

Why is it that when most of the major media owners are billionaires the taxpayers are giving them a financial handout? Australian media are under extreme duress as far as their long-term profitability and viability are concerned but most of that is the fault of extremely poor management.

The TV networks have paid way too much for their overseas content and Australian Sport, Fairfax’s senior management are only worried about their own multi-million-dollar wages and Channel 10 and Channel 9 management haven’t had a clue what day it is for a very long time. And let’s not get started on Kerry Stokes’ Seven West Media where most of the money seems to be stolen by managers, spent paying off and silencing women or snorting cocaine.

Proposed Changes

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield announced the wider package on Saturday morning, including the dumping of the current licence fee regime in favour of a $40 million spectrum fee charged across free-to-air broadcasters.

Across the metropolitan and regional broadcasters, licence fees were roughly $150 million in the 2016 financial year. (Click here to read more)

The “two out of three” rule prevents a person or company from owning all three of metropolitan newspapers, television stations and radio stations in a capital city market.

The “reach rule” prevents a person or company from controlling a commercial television network with a licence area that exceeds 75 per cent of the Australian population. 

The elimination of television licence fees has won over the free-to-air broadcasters, who will save $130 million. They will now be charged an annual spectrum fee, estimated to raise around $40 million.

Over the next four years, $30 million of taxpayer money will be paid to subscription television networks – read Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Sports – to increase coverage of women’s sports and niche sports. The anti-siphoning list, which stops pay TV broadcasters from buying the rights to sports events before free-to-air broadcasters have the opportunity to purchase the rights, will also  be reduced.

“It’s no surprise that this package was announced by the Prime Minister just after he met Rupert Murdoch in the US,” said a key adviser to the deal. (Click here to read more)

The reduction in the annual TV licence fees means the public will have to pay a higher share of tax. A key reason the TV Networks pay the fees is because they get exclusive rights to major sport etc. If current TV owners don’t want to pay the fees then give the licences to someone else because I have no doubt the government wouldn’t have a problem finding companies who would be happy to do so.

And why is the government giving Rupert Murdoch $30 million “to increase coverage of women’s sports and niche sports” especially when the country has a budget deficit of $30 to $40 billion and heading to a total debt of $500 billion plus.

What government want the Australian taxpayers to be paying for is the gross incompetence of the management by the TV stations. The new laws haven’t passed parliament yet and they might be shot down by the Australian Senate although Senator Nick Xenophon and his party are believed to support the new media laws because of the reduction in gambling advertising as part of the package. 

And it must be remembered that Pauline Hanson owes Kerry Stokes plenty so I would expect her to keep Kerry happy and support the laws if he says to.

It is like the Midnight Oil song which says: “The rich get richer, the poor get the picture” in their aptly titled song from 1982 “Read About It”.

The decline of Australian Media

It was only last week that Channel 10 announced a loss of $232 million which means major job losses are not far away for their staff. But Channel 10 are not the only ones struggling.

Since March, three other major media companies have announced job losses. The ABC will retrench 200 employees by June. Fairfax Media, publisher of this website, will strip around $30 million from its editorial budget. And News Corp will cut $40 million. (Click here to read more)

And Fairfax staff are currently on strike after they were told that another 125 jobs will be lost. (Click here to read more)

New media = Social Media – Why should we pay for Old Media failures?

Throwing good money after bad is what the government is doing. A democracy needs a strong media but the old media has not done a good enough job and if they want to survive they need to change their ways not be propped up by the taxpayers.

Transfer of power to social media

Most of the old media in Australia is controlled by a few Billionaires such as Rupert Murdoch, Kerry Stokes, Bruce Gordon, James Packer, Lachlan Murdoch and Gina Rinehart. They don’t need a helping hand. What they badly need is decent management.

The federal government should be saving the money until the old media bottom out more and the landscape of where media is heading becomes clearer.

I have no doubt that a major growth in individual and independent journalists will be the way of the future but exactly how that is funded is still unknown.

Google, Facebook, The Guardian and The Daily Mail etc.

Australian media blaming foreign media for all their problems is a waste of time and false. A huge reason that Australian media is declining is because they regularly refuse to write or broadcast stories that they should and that are in the public interest.

Editors at media companies pull stories a lot more than people realise and it often happens because the owner decides to do a favour for a politician, a business associate or a major advertiser. And that is why a lot of the audience are deserting mainstream media and going online because they know they’ll find stories the old media refuse to run. Each time they have refused to publish stories that they should not only did they not sell more papers or get more viewers but they also educated the audience that they need to use social media more if they want all the news and stories.

Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t seem to be able to do anything right at the moment and the new media laws won’t change that whether they get approved by parliament or not. It will be seen by many voters as a sell out to the rich.

Admin: I had the contempt hearing on Thursday and a judgment will be at least a few weeks away. I have a had a few hearings recently and are waiting on a number of judgements for the Kerry Stokes defamation matter and also suppression orders etc. I will set a up a page soon to keep up to date with all the matters. The issues are well worth fighting and I’ll continue to do so.

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20 replies »

  1. “Australian media are under extreme duress as far as their long-term profitability and viability are concerned but most of that is the fault of extremely poor management.”

    That too, but I’d say it’s more the fault of the sheer volume of deceptions, diversions and lies they spew out. Virtually everyone I come across (except the dumbest of the dumb) don’t watch much TV or read newspapers any more, bar a handful of carefully selected items.

    I’m not at all surprised they are resorting to stealing from taxpayers again to keep their propaganda machines alive. One day I expect all of those media to be state owned/funded again in order to keep our media “independent”.

    • Your last sentence re state owned/funded “independent ” – just like the present ABC!!!!!!

    • Well summed up, they are fake and the public are slowly awakening.
      Look up who the major shareholders of Fairfax are…….. Bankers!!!!!

    • Not sure of what is happening in other states of Australia, but in Perth we are finding that the PM news consists of 80% approx. “Police News’ advising us of who was in court , rapes, murders , traffic infringements and many others and the important items such as economy , jobs , do not rate. No wonder people are switching off and going to other available channels and getting some better balance of what is happening in our state and the country!

  2. I remember no longer than ten years ago, it was possible to phone a newspaper with a newsworthy item and get a hearing. If the story was relevant to the community it was published or given air time. Nowadays when you approach the media about a story that relates to the wholesale robbery of the community by our lawyers, our bankers, our injury insurers, our shonkey building industry and the corrupt mechanism that is used to resolve the disputes the media run a mile as they hold their hankies to their noses and cry foul foul stench of corruption, cant publish its to complex in other words the legal department told them not to.
    Unfortunately for the media it is the community who are their customers and who they serve, when they continue to feed us with drivel we simply walk away and stop buying their product.
    For a democracy to function and not transform to a demon-ocracy our community needs to be well informed by a media that we can trust because it tells the truth and has no fear of perpetuating a culture of transparency.

    • Our so-called Media could take a leaf from the US media who do follow up real stories despite potential hurt feelings. Ours have been sued too many times for careless reporting, even unresearched reporting. Now they are hiding in the trenches – unless, of course, their reporting favours “minority ‘groups ” and Greens!

  3. You said it all Mr Roo.
    Turnbull and his cronies, the media and their cronies, include ‘Aunty’ with the bad breath, all currently walking ‘on a tightrope across a deep gorge’ at present and the rope is rotting.

  4. TurnWaffle is walking his own tightrope so is probably looking for a sinecure post politics. Delaying advertising of gambling until after the 8:30 time slot is an absolute joke, Most top notch sporting events have hardly begun at that time, so plenty of time for Tom et al to profit from this.

  5. When Fairfax owns half of Macquarie radio which is right wing/conservative and then publish left wing newspapers then you know its all about controlling the left/right paradigm.
    The dinosaur media is on the way out, that’s why independent researchers and websites like this one are so important to educate the hoards of people fleeing the msm.

  6. Why do we, the general public, have no intestinal fortitude to tell governments of ALL persuasions to take a hike until they run this country for the people, not the rich and “famous”.

    • Because the mafia who controls governments will not step down. Ever. Words are meaningless to them. Even if people go to the last resort of a violent revolution those criminals will do whatever they can to remain in power, including killing or imprisoning you for protesting. Don’t forget, you are an enemy of (the criminals who control) the state. As we all should know, criminals can never be defeated by laws or outrage.

  7. Live sport is their LAST bastion! They may as well specialise in that =divide it up between them & leave the rest to the www where 80% of us are informed- as it happens…………… from the POTUS’s fingertips!

    • I take it that you are referring to the distractions for the peasants at the coleseum with bread, circuses, Murdock’s football, soccer and the rest of scandalous crap by overpaid spoilt cochaine brats.
      Been there under Roman time has beens and the rest, won’t work these days msm fake crap.
      Shove your bread Canberra and fake msm.

  8. Did anyone watch Trump alias Drumpf suck up to Lucy& Mal, soooo disgusting, it was pathetic. Mal I reckon he must wet have his pants with glee, catching up with old mates at Goldman Sachs for extra loans for the old/new debt new loans. In the 2017 Budget.

    • I remember two faced Turncoat roll his eyes along with that other crawling sychophant Bishop. Now he wants to be seen with the same person he sneered at. What a rat pack of undeserving useless politicians who lie and deceive the people they are supposed to represent and look after.

  9. Politicians, media et al continue to try to hoodwink the general population in various ways, certainly believing that the factor of fear will control the masses. The recent ‘fear factors’ making the headlines, all of which contain the opt-out words ‘could, ‘maybe’, ‘possibly’, ‘if’, as read and heard recently, with North Korea and their rockets, war with Russia, etc; knowing full well that a weapons war among the countries with their own Mighty Weapons would be the end of humanity as we know it. Kim Jong-un is still a schoolboy playing with his ‘firecrackers’ and is fully aware of the retaliation if he spat the dummy, and so would the other leaders who are ‘all armed to the teeth’ with a Damocles sword over their heads.
    The other ridiculous situation we have in Australia is compulsory voting, not so in NZ, UK, USA because our elections are won or lost on the most unjustifiable of reasons, and if most of the general population want their voices of anger against the current system, study the system and learn to vote in a responsible manner. “She’ll be right, mate” is no longer effective!

  10. This is outrageous! I don’t remember the Liberals campaigning about this last election? They are an absolute disgrace and so blatant about it. On the $30 million for “women’s Sports” these b”s are proposing to give to Murdoch should go straight to the ABC for the same purpose. Thanks for the article exposing them. Better watch Xenophon too, he talks the talk and then votes for the Liberals.

    • I would rather see the money go to a just cause such as sick children rather than the filthy rotten ABC where overpaid lefties tell us how we should run our lives and shut us down with PC.

  11. Absolute disgrace, and so predictable from the Liberals. This needs to be fought, and strongly. Murdoch should be taxed more, not given money from taxpayer coffers. Make it an election issue Turnbull and see where it gets you! Fairfax should not be paying the CEO $7 million salary and have hand out for reward from taxpayers. If anything, more funding should go to ABC and independent journals, but that would never happen under Libs.

  12. The sooner the better it would be for Channel10 to be shut down and as their programming is a disgrace and presenters second rate.
    The ABC is not much better and the bottomless pit of money provided to this outfit is nothing short of disgraceful with the woman presenter on the morning breakfast show having far too much to say on a personal bias basis.

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