In a world becoming increasing saturated with media, have you ever taken the time to consider who owns and is producing all this content? If not, you probably should…
Australia’s level of media ownership concentration is already one of the highest in the world. – Shadow minister for communications, Michelle Rowland, press release, November 8, 2016.
Big media companies are monopolising, growing larger and larger. Of course, this means that their reach, influence and power is also growing.
There are seemingly plenty of instances where owners of newspapers/ tv programs are controlling and influencing the content that is produced.
For example, Rupert Murdoch (who owns 70% of all Australian Newspapers) does not believe in climate change so his newspaper ‘The Australian’ never published articles about it, other than stories saying it wasn’t real.
His personal politic views also effect his newspapers also influences the politics ‘The Australian’ and ‘The Daily Telegraph’ newspaper constantly vilifying labour.
It’s a different situation for the owners of media platforms (like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube etc.) because the users are able to produce and share their own content.
What most people don’t know, is that whilst they might technically retain the ownership of their uploaded content, social media platforms are largely permitted to do whatever they like with content uploaded onto their sites, including using, sharing and selling their users’ work.
“In Australia, original material such as text, photos, images, video, and audio are protected under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)…Generally, the author or creator of a work is the copyright owner, with the exclusive rights to control the reproduction or display of the work, and the exclusive right to profit from the work.” – McCabe Curwood – Amelia Cooper and Elisa Blakers
Unlike traditional media companies where one person is controlling the information you receive, in the case of social media platforms, it is one person (or a small group of people) controlling the information you give them.
This is seen in the “Facebook & Cambridge Analytica Scandal” a major political scandal in early 2018 when it was revealed that
Cambridge Analytica had harvested the personal data of millions of people’s Facebook profiles without their consent and used it for political purposes.
This leads to the question, should we trust them?
Does it matter who owns the media?
The short answer, yes.
The way we imagine the world to be is often the way the world is represented in the media.
So, it is extremely important to receive multiple and varying perspectives, so that you are prompted to question and evaluate your understanding of the world, your beliefs and your ideology.
The first step towards controlling the values and future direction of society is through successfully controlling the media. So, it is important to recognise that fewer and fewer people are dictating how we see the world.
“Democracy is at stake, but the people in power aren’t listening because they are very happy with the way they can easily dominate the news cycle.” (Donovan, 2011)
As such, we must always consider, who is producing what content and why?…
After all almost everyone has a motive…
Remember to comment and let me know what you think!
- Dwyer, T. (no date) FactCheck: is Australia’s level of media ownership concentration one of the highest in the world?, The Conversation. Available at: http://theconversation.com/factcheck-is-australias-level-of-media-ownership-concentration-one-of-the-highest-in-the-world-68437(Accessed: 29 March 2019).
- Concentrated media ownership: a crisis for democracy (no date) Independent Australia. Available at: https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/concentrated-media-ownership-a-crisis-for-democracy,3259 (Accessed: 29 March 2019).
- Who owns my social media content? (2017) McCabe Curwood. Available at: https://mccabecurwood.com.au/who-owns-my-social-media-account/(Accessed: 29 March 2019).
- Why Rupert Murdoch can’t be stopped (2013), The Monthly. Available at:https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2013/november/1383224400/robert-manne/why-rupert-murdoch-can-t-be-stopped (Accessed: 29 March 2019).
7 thoughts on “What Everyone Ought to Know About Australian Media Ownership”
This is such a thought provoking post. I like your comparison between traditional media and social media and how ownership is different between the two. It really highlights the rapid change in media ownership, both personal ownership (through posting things on social media) and corporate ownership (like how media companies are monopolising media corporations). “Unlike traditional media companies where one person is controlling the information you receive, in the case of social media platforms, it is one person (or a small group of people) controlling the information you give them.” This is such an important point to make! I’d never actually considered this before. The fact that social media companies hold ownership on what we personally post is very interesting, and you’re right, we don’t really think about that. I love all the images and graphs. They’re super informative and help keep it engaging. It’s good to break up your information with this stuff.
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Thank you so much for your feedback, I really appreciate it!
The clapbacks at Rupert Murdoch in this post are amazing. My favourite picture is the shopping cart gif because it made me snort so obnoxiously.
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Haha, thank you! I’m glad at least one person shares my humour 🙂
A very important question asked in a very elegant manner! Some of the evidence you collected definitely surprised me – 70% of Australia’s newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch? Statistics like these really helped put into perspective the kind of media control that some very powerful individuals seem to have! It reminded me of something I read along similar lines, have you seen this article (https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2015/06/11/what-rupert-murdoch-owns/71089066/) from USA today? Though these days I seem to have less and less connection with the newspaper medium. Perhaps some supporting evidence related to online media ownership (Buzzfeed, for example) in addition to the valuable resources you have already provided could have helped? Keep up the fantastic work! Can’t wait to read your next piece.
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Thanks, I really appreciate your feedback! I know, isn’t it crazy how many companies Murdoch has accumulated?! Also, thank you for sharing that article, it was really interesting to see how much he owns in the US. It almost seems like he’s on a path to (media) world domination… And you’re right, it seems that younger generations have less of a connection with newspapers and traditional media, I’ll be sure to keep that in mind when I look for evidence and try to find examples that appeal to my audience.
Its a good way to discuss a really important one question,sometimes people find it difficult who really cares for ownership of media industry.Both private and government claim to have their rights first of all.So in this context,you’v made very clear and its much easier to understand inner truth.