Democracy & Diversity: Media Ownership

Rupert Murdoch, Kerry Stokes, Bruce Gordon, James Packer and the likes are names so often heard when dissecting the ever concentrating nature of Australian and global media ownership. This substantially dwindling collection of ‘media owners’ are undoubtedly placed in a position of immense power when it comes to a political, community and democratic influence on society.

Arguably one of the biggest names in Australian media ownership is Rupert Murdoch. Large conglomerates including News Corporation can be observed taking increased interests in media platforms right across the world. Just a few of the numerous other holdings in which Murdoch’s two big companies, 21st Century Fox and News Corp hold significant stakes in include FOX television, FOX Sports, New York Post, BSkyB, Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland. As illustrated below, Rupert Murdoch’s monopoly over many media branches is extensive.

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“The global reach of Murdoch’s News Corp”

Kerry Stokes is another of the big players in the media ownership world. Most widely known as the chairman of the Seven Network, Stokes’ net worth is AU$2.223 billion. Not to be downplayed by Bruce Gordon, the owner of WIN Television through his ownership of WIN Corporation. Gordon is also the largest shareholder in Ten Network Holdings, and, as of recently, partly owns a stake in Nine Entertainment Co.

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Kerry Stokes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bruce Gordon

Media is unquestionably one of the most influential and authoritative industries. It has the ability to guide the opinion of the public and can both inform and misinform society to an inordinate extent. It is for this reason that diversity of media ownership is absolutely critical. The quality and diversity of information presented impacts our ability to make informed decisions. The video below, while focusing primarily on the UK, makes an interesting point of the importance of media diversity in strengthening the accountability of news content production.

 

Furthermore, in the article ‘Media Diversity: If media diversity is so important, how did we get here?’, it is argued that “an effective media that expresses a diversity of ideas and keeps all levels of government accountable is essential to the good functioning of democracy”. That is to say that in order to ensure a small number of owners don’t have an undue influence over our decision making and political opinions, diversity in media ownership is imperative.

Diversification of media ownership is perhaps one of the most important issues influencing our society.  Having a variety of media organisations means that the needs of our community will be much better represented, and furthermore our ability to make informed decisions and contribute to the greater functioning of civilisation will be monumentally enriched.

References:

Knight, E. (2015). Bruce Gordon spending hundreds of millions in protection money with Nine buy. [online] The Sydney Morning Herald. Available at: http://www.smh.com.au/business/media-and-marketing/bruce-gordon-spending-hundreds-of-millions-in-protection-money-with-nine-buy-20151021-gkek1i.html [Accessed 28 Mar. 2016].

Lamb, B. (2013). Australian Media Ownership | VCE Media, VELS Media, Media Arts, digital literacy, media education, filmmaking. [online] lessonbucket. Available at: http://lessonbucket.com/vce-media/unit-2/australian-media/australian-media-ownership/ [Accessed 28 Mar. 2016].

YouTube. (2016). Democratising news media and ownership animation (2010). [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihZMK-nC-HI [Accessed 27 Mar. 2016].

CPD. (2006). MEDIA DIVERSITY: If media diversity is so important, how did we get here? – CPD. [online] Available at: http://cpd.org.au/2006/03/media-diversity-if-media-diversity-is-so-important-how-did-we-get-here/ [Accessed . 27 Mar. 2016].

Featured Image: “Media” by Lien De Paepe, licensed under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Published by susiealdermann

Fifth Year Bachelor of Communications and Media/ Bachelor of International Studies (Dean's Scholar) student

4 thoughts on “Democracy & Diversity: Media Ownership

  1. Hi Susie,
    This blog post was fantastic to read. I really agree with what you were saying about how “media is unquestionably one of the most influential and authoritative industries”. You have used a wonderful range of sources to make your blog more interesting to your readers by including the image of statistics and link to the BBC article as well as the YouTube video ‘Democratising News Media and Ownership Animation (2010). Two ways that you could improve your blog would be to come up with a more captivating blog title that will make readers want to read your blog to know what you are blogging about instead of telling them straight up and change to a font that is easier to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Susie,
    I really loved this blog post. It was informative, insightful and a great read. I love how you took the time and effort to go that extra mile and include sources such as youtube videos and statistical graphs. It really shows you have thought deeply into the topic itself. I also agree with the previous comment on this blog post, that another font could be used just to make it easier for the reader. However I don’t think this is a big deal, it doesn’t affect your work dramatically in any way.
    Keep up the great work

    Like

  3. This blog post was well composed and quite informative, an enjoyable read. I liked the fact that links to videos were included and that you indicated the sources at the end of the post for access. The title could be more engaging with the audience but the content overrides that, nice one!

    Like

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