Who ‘owns’ and ‘controls’ the media you use to access your ‘news’?
Why does this matter?
As alarming as this may sound, for the 6 weeks that I have been living in college, I have found myself rather disconnected from the current happenings in the world and therefore have not had readily available access to my usual sources of news. However, these platforms usually consisted of Channel Ten’s ‘The Project’ and ‘Prime 7 News’, but these days are limited to whatever appears on my Facebook feed.
So who really controls the output of information that I am subjected to through these mediums?
According to this snapshot of Media Interests (taken from the Australian Media and Communication Authority website), Channel Ten is owned in part by several different prominent media personalities including James Packer, Gina Rinehart, Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon, however Channel 7 is owned solely by Kerry Stokes and Seven Group Holdings Ltd. As goes for Facebook, God knows where that news comes from…
The main question here though, is why does this ownership matter and does it affect what we view through our television screen?
What I would like to know but can only speculate, is if this multi-ownership of Channel Ten in comparison to the dual ownership of Channel 7, then allows for less deception and subjectivity when it comes to the broadcasting of news and eliminates the potential for excessive bias? I do know however, that objective information is exceedingly difficult to locate these days and is present to some degree in nearly all aspects of media communication.
How do I know this?
Well, I feel as though the measures that are currently being undertaken to reduce excessive media ownership i.e. the release of new pieces of legislation, is enough evidence in itself to prove that domination of a media platform by a singular party can result in the output of partial or bias knowledge. An article by Tim Dwyer supports this idea, stating that “the government’s Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (Media Reform) Bill 2016 proposes cutting a rule that stops commercial TV networks from broadcasting to more than 75% of Australians”, as “Australia’s level of media ownership concentration is already one of the highest in the world.”
So the answer is yes. Media ownership has the overwhelming power to sculpt and craft our views on numerous subject matters through their output of material, and the fact that this subjectivity is almost impossible to avoid, is a rather scary and daunting thought, forcing us to question what we really know.