Does it really matter who owns the media?
Well, perhaps if Rupert Murdoch owns 70% of Australian newspapers (according to Kevin Rudd in 2013), 21st Century Fox, NewsCorp and an array of other media sources, it does matter who owns the media.
It is with no doubt that with a high percentage of media ownership comes the questionable responsibility of what is produced, created, aired and read by consumers.
For those who are not aware, Rupert Murdoch is a global media tycoon who owns a large portion of media branches. With this strong ownership he possesses the ability to sway societies opinions through his content producing power. It is inevitable that Murdoch can control, through various platforms, what we, the public are exposed to (hint hint, biased opinions). In particular, Murdoch has been known to publicise which political parties he prefers by enabling what is and isn’t exposed via his media outlets.
Here is an example of Murdoch siding with a preferred political party. As Alex Salmond states here, “As the largest-selling paper north of the border, with 246,000 buyers and including many floating voters, the Sun’s editorial stance could be influential to the outcome of the vote”. And who is it that owns The Sun? You guessed it, Rupert Murdoch.
Journalists Terry Flew and Ben Goldsmith states it well in this article:
“With an audience of 17.3 million people in Australia, it isn’t hard to get your voice across. News Corp Australia titles account for 59% of the sales of all daily newspapers, with sales of 17.3m papers a week, making it Australia’s most influential newspaper publisher by a considerable margin”. Clearly Murdoch has a large audience with wide access and huge opportunity to present his quite often biased views.
Additionally, the following article presents an interesting chart in relation to newspapers Murdoch has backed and as to which correlating party actually won.
The chart does question whether Murdoch’s reign has impacted the turn out of political leaders. Despite this, there is no doubt that Murdoch’s reports would have a significant influence on unsure voters.
To gain a brief insight of Murdoch’s power in the media Russell Brand explains it well (cut to 6.11 for an overview). What I would suggest though is skipping to 8.22.
Brand explains just how powerful Murdoch is despite not even having a political office. This shows Murdoch’s extensive persuasive ability as Brand basically describes trying to win political power impossible without his support.
See more of Brand’s opinion on Murdoch below:
So back to the first question, does it really matter who owns the media? I’ll leave that decision up to you. However I am happy to side with yes, it really does matter. After all, media owners have the ability to enforce what we see, read, view and hear, influencing how we perceive societal topics. I personally don’t agree with that kind of spoon fed control in my life but as they say, each to their own.