Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is calling for a Royal Commission focusing on Rupert Murdoch’s media ownership. A petition on the federal government’s website already has over 339,000 signatures supporting it with another couple of weeks before it closes on the 4th of November.
Kevin Rudd also wants the Royal Commission to investigate the wider media as well. The petition says:
Our democracy depends on diverse sources of reliable, accurate and independent news. But media ownership is becoming more concentrated alongside new business models that encourage deliberately polarising and politically manipulated news.
We are especially concerned that Australia’s print media is overwhelmingly controlled by News Corporation, founded by Fox News billionaire Rupert Murdoch, with around two-thirds of daily newspaper readership.
This power is routinely used to attack opponents in business and politics by blending editorial opinion with news reporting. Australians who hold contrary views have felt intimidated into silence. These facts chill free speech and undermine public debate.
Powerful monopolies are also emerging online, including Facebook and Google. We are deeply concerned by: mass-sackings of news journalists; digital platforms impacting on media diversity and viability; Nine Entertainment’s takeover of the Melbourne Age and Sydney Morning Herald; News Corp’s acquisition (and then closure) of more than 200 smaller newspapers, undermining regional and local news; attempts to replace AAP Newswire with News Corp’s alternative; and relentless attacks on the ABC’s independence and funding.
Professional journalists further have legitimate concerns around unjust searches, potential prosecution, whistle-blower protection, official secrecy and dispute resolution that should be comprehensively addressed. Only a Royal Commission would have the powers and independence to investigate threats to media diversity and recommend policies to ensure optimal diversity across all platforms to help guarantee our nation’s democratic future. (Click here to see the petition on the government website and sign it if you want to)
The SMH published an article by Rudd today (19/10/20):
Living in Australia, many now habitually think our national media landscape is normal. It isn’t. No other Western democracy has the level of print media monopoly that Rupert Murdoch has secured for himself in Australia.
A single American billionaire has now seized control of almost 70 per cent of daily newspaper circulation. In my state of Queensland, which determines most federal elections, this monopoly is almost 100 per cent with every newspaper from Cairns to Coolangatta and Australia’s only commercial 24-hour ‘news’ channel.
But Murdoch is not just any old businessman. He’s not just interested in money but also in political power and far-right ideology. For Murdoch, it’s long been his triple-aphrodisiac. And the habits of a lifetime lead him to destroy anybody who gets in his way. That’s why people are frightened of him.
Where would Murdoch like to take Australia? Look no further than Fox News in America, which remains the epicentre of the Trump phenomenon, polluting Americans’ minds with bullshit narratives about widespread voter fraud, climate hoaxes and other wild conspiracies. This parallel-universe model is now unfolding in the pages of his Australian newspapers and on Sky News. (Click here to read more)
Some are saying that Rudd is pushing for the Royal Commission because of sour grapes but we have all seen how biased the media can be especially Rupert Murdoch’s Newscorp. With James Murdoch recently confirming that “he left his family’s publishing company News Corp over concerns its newspapers were disguising facts and endorsing disinformation” there can be no doubt there needs to be a Royal Commission into Australia media.
On the 13th of September 2020, I published an article titled “Rupert Murdoch’s attempt to shakedown Facebook and Google is underwritten by Scott Morrison and the Liberal Party” and said:
Murdoch does not run a media company in Australia as it has become nothing more than the media arm of the Liberal Party / National Party coalition. If Murdoch wants something from the politicians, he gets it which is evident in the Google / Facebook shakedown. Even The Conversation website, which is owned by Australian Universities, has reported it as fact as per the 2019 article which started off:
“There is mounting evidence that Australia is sick of Rupert Murdoch and the political propaganda machine he runs in the guise of a news organisation.” (Click here to read more)
It doesn’t matter where to go, everyone seems to be in agreement about Murdoch’s negative impact on Australian democracy.
Nine Entertainment, under the chairmanship of former federal Liberal MP and Treasurer Peter Costello, is heading in the same direction as News Corp. It will take years for Nine to live down the fact that they hosted a fundraiser for the Liberal Party in 2019 at their Sydney TV Studies raising over $700,000 and then, of course, it is well known the Peter Costello is goods friends and a close political advisor to Prime Minister Scott Morrison. (Click here to read more)
Then there is Kerry Stokes and Seven West Media which he controls via Seven Group which owns about 40%. SWM has been run headfirst into the ground because of gross mismanagement and negligence by the board of directors which Kerry Stokes rules with an iron fist as chairman.
So why does Stokes keep the shareholding in SWM? Because he uses it to intimidate and/or bribe politicians to get what he wants for his other business interests such as property, mining and resources.
On the 30th of August 2020, I published an article titled “Prime Minister Scott Morrison introduces “Billionaire Keeper” after being bribed to push the Australian gas industry” that has the below video which exposed some of the political favours Kerry Stokes has received from WA Premier Mark McGowan. The video also showed how Seven’s Perth sports presenter Basil Zempilas was running for Perth Mayor and how Seven were supporting Basil.
On the weekend Basil Zempilas was elected Perth Mayor and who was there to help him celebrate? Kerry Stokes as the below picture shows.
Having Basil as Mayor will obviously help with Kerry’s numerous property and business interests in Perth and as I previously reported I believe Basil plans on keeping his job as a sports reporter at the Seven Network. I wonder if Kerry will give Basil a pay rise. It makes a bad joke of how media is meant to be independent of politics and just shows how blatant the collusion between the two is now.
It’ll be a struggle for a Royal Commission to get up and running and I’m no fan of Rudd but a Royal Commission into Australia media would be money well spent to shine a light on just how corrupt Murdoch and the rest of the Australian media are.
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