“The Media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the media of the masses.”
– Malcom X
Australian social scientists Alex Carey argues that “the 20th Century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate power as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.” In effect, the public become “oberservors, not participants, consumers of ideology as well as products.”
– Noam Chomsky (World Orders: Old + New)
For some time now I’ve been aware of the political ‘leanings’ a newspaper, radio station or television network may have. However, it wasn’t until my BCM110 lecture this week that I really became aware of the influence of individuals in the media.
Does this face look familiar?
Don’t worry I wouldn’t want to remember this face either, let’s just remember his name for now. Meet Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch is the primary shareholder and chief executive of News Corporation, one of the largest media companies in the world and he owns around 70% in shares of media outlets in the Australian Market. So, if you’ve ever had to cut things out of the newspaper for a school project and it’s the one that’s been sitting on your coffee bench for a while now..the likes of it being a part of the Murdoch franchise is pretty high!
Here’s just a few of the many newspapers you may have cut articles, photos and captions out of without even considering the option of bias or political leanings.
– The Australian
– The Weekend Australian
– The Daily Telegraph
– The Sunday Telegraph
– Herald Sun
– The Weekly Times
– The Courier Mail
– The Sunday Mail
– The Suburban
– The Mercury
So what’s the issue with Murdoch owning so much? One of the major issues I see is the influence of Murdoch’s newspaper in Australian political life due to his conservative, right-wing political leanings – and his use of ‘propaganda’. We witnessed this in the 2013 elections:
Because Murdoch controls such a huge portion of media outlets in Australia it’s hard not to be influenced by the views he holds. It dumbs us down and it keeps us ignorant. We are only told what we need to. Which, is therefore, an aspect of censorship. The more corporations own media our local voices and local matters will continue to be overruled with the corporations “agenda.”
As a democratic society there should be a limit on the number of stations/print media that any one person or corporation owns. Thus, as a society we would be introduced to a variety of perspectives and we can therefore shape our own, individual outlook.