Utilising Your Power of Choice(s)

Within the game of media ownership, it is necessary to consider the origins of an opinion. The idealisation of the media being unbiased and purely objective is an unattainable reality, as everybody has their own verdict. However, when this personal verdict is amplified on a large scale, it is fitting to query the validity of what we are consuming as being impartial material. The competitors in the mass media market have the ability to inflict upon us, ideologies that have been conjured to persuade our judgment to ultimately provoke a collective perspective. So, in order to avoid this prevailing form of partiality, it is vital to comprehend the framework of media ownership and how you can be unknowingly affected by it.

Despite whether you’re consciously aware of the mastery that comes with media ownership, I have no doubt that you have heard of the name Rupert Murdoch. Head of News Corporation and founder of the Fox Broadcasting Company, Murdoch’s possession of major media establishments certainly highlights the impressiveness of an unsatisfied hunger for power. Additionally, he controls satellite operator BSkyB, owns four national newspapers as well as social website MySpace. He also holds presence in assorted, “publishing, film, television and newspaper interests across the world,” as described in The Politics of Media. The fact that Murdoch holds such supremacy over global media distribution, is founded on the concept that media ownership is of significance when it comes to consumption. Ergo, media ownership where concentrated, is encouraging such corporations or private owners to gain “unaccountable political and economic power” as they are “able to deploy their market power to act as influential cultural gatekeepers.”

The Bulletin magazine in 2006, named Murdoch the most influential Australian. Now lets ponder on this for a minute, as it is not everyday that a media guru is named the most noteworthy Australian. From receiving this title, it definitively portrays Murdoch’s ownership over media platforms as being somewhat godly. And from Murdoch’s extensive reputation, it isn’t hard to see how the Murdoch Empire can serve the interest of those in power.

A major incident in which Murdoch was under fire for biased publications was that of the 2013 federal election. As stated in this article, Prime Minister (at the time) Kevin Rudd had accused his newspapers as “campaigning for a change of government.” As a result, editors of notable newspapers were written to in order to “stress the need” of distinguishing “news from editorial opinion.” The Sydney Daily Telegraph, Melbourne Herald Sun and the Brisbane Courier-Mail had begun what seemed like “scores of anti-Labour front-page items” which seemed content on degrading Kevin Rudd as seen below. Here, we can see how foremost media corporations can attempt to prevail individual opinion with serious magnitude.

The 2013 'Biased' Federal Election Campaigns in the Sydney Telegraph, image via theconversation.com
The 2013 ‘Biased’ Federal Election Campaigns in the Daily Telegraph, image via theconversation.com

Always be aware of the bias. But, do not let this knowledge make you abandon your preferred news corporations. I do not care if you follow Seven News or The Australian. As long as they aren’t your only source of information, your boat is still floating. Learn to immerse yourself in divergent types of media coverage. That way not only do you have one opinion up your sleeve, but many.


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