Ted Turner. Steve Forbes. Gina Rinehart. Mark Zuckerberg. These are just a few of the most powerful figures in media ownership today. But the question which is constantly being argued is this: Do media moguls have too much power?
Australia has a well-renowned reputation for its absorption towards media ownership (Pusey and McCutcheon, 2011). We need only to look at the Rupert Murdoch and his influence on the media, through his media empire Newscorp, to acknowledge this. He is undeniably one of the most powerful figures in the world today. However, Murdoch has been involved in his fair share of controversies including the notorious phone hacking scandal in 2011. According to Michael Pusey (2011), the phone hacking scandal is proof of the vice of power that media moguls are capable of.
Another topic which is under constant scrutiny is the role of the media itself. Is its purpose to truthfully inform the general public? Or is it to manipulate people into sharing similar ideologies as the moguls themselves? Interestingly, the video posted below shows Rupert Murdoch actually ADMITTING to manipulating the news for his personal agenda.
Unfortunately, this seems to occur more and more frequently, particularly when it comes to politics. An ABC report provides details on the way Murdoch first took advantage of his media power and utilized it for his own political resolves. This led to an inquiry known as “The Finkelstein Report” which attempted to link contact between newspapers and politicians.
So, why should WE care? Well, I think it is fair to say that we all want to hear or read the news as IT IS, not how THEY want it to be. However, the manipulation of ideologies is still happening today, which is why it is so important that people start to get their news from more independently-financed companies (e.g. SBS, ABC etc.)
As the controversial rapper Kanye West said: “No one man should have all that power”
- ABC. “News of the World shuts amid hacking scandal.” ABC News. ABC, 8 July 2011. Web. 29 Mar. 2014. <http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-07-08/news-of-the-world-shuts-amid-hacking-scandal/2786546>.
- Pusey, Michael . “Media ownership matters: why politicians need to take on proprietors.” The Conversation. N.p., 19 Sept. 2011. Web. 29 Mar. 2014. <http://theconversation.com/media-ownership-matters-why-politicians-need-to-take-on-proprietors-3425>.
- Holmes, Jonathan. “Media’s old master playing politics in Australia?.” The Drum. ABC, 27 Apr. 2012. Web. 30 Mar. 2014. <http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-04-26/holmes-medias-old-master/3974240word…>.