Blog post 3: Media Ownership
I’ve never really thought of who is behind the media sources I use. Not just ‘behind the scenes’ but really behind them. Who owns them? What kind of people they are and how is the information really passed through all the way to the audience. This is a little snapshot of who is involved in Australian media.
Media is a powerful tool to influence the masses. But sometimes information can be skewed depending on who provides it. Also, sometimes bigger ‘more official’ media brands bring out stories leading to other people using it as a source. If that information is not correct or is misleading then that can affect a lot of other sources, so wrong information can be reiterated and repeated. Media can also influence certain opinions to the people. Ideologies can either be challenged or reinforced by the media.
‘Australia’s level of media ownership concentration is already one of the highest in the world’ according to Michelle Rowland the Labor’s shadow minister. With Australian media, so much of it is interconnected and owned by the same people and companies. Take Rupert Murdoch for example, he’s an Australian born media mogul. He owns News Corporation, 21st Century Fox and Fox News. He acquired a number of newspapers in Australia and New Zealand before extending to the UK with News of the World and The Sun. He even became a US citizen to comply with television ownership laws. He represents a lot of the abuse of media power. With him owning a lot of media outlets there comes a certain type of agenda that is portrayed. There are unified positions on matters of public policy. Media can be so influential sometimes that it has a strong political influence.
A historical and large example of this is the power of Nazi propaganda. They presented certain images to the public to make people associate Nazi’s with ‘freedom’. They created an ideology and it was quite a foundational moment in media history in how they engaged with mainstream television, newspapers, radio and posters. From this historical experience, to now, media can have a certain authority and influence.