As the dust begins to settle on the Federal Government’s inexplicable ‘reforms’ to Australia’s media laws, it seems that critics like Crikey, the Media Alliance and other proponents of media diversity were completely wrong about the likely outcome of the legislation which was passed last year by the single vote of Family First’s Senator Steve Fielding.
We all naively believed that the owner-friendly media laws were designed by the Government for the media moguls to get bigger and richer. But, it now turns out, the laws were about the big media owners getting smaller and richer.
That’s right. Three of the biggest media moguls — the owners of the Nine (Packer), Seven (Stokes) and Ten (Asper) TV networks — are bailing out of the media industry, either partially or completely. For very handsome prices at the historic top of the media market. Courtesy of the frenzy created by the Government changing the media laws. Replaced largely by cost-cutting private equity owners whose interest in the Australian fourth estate is based entirely on their ability to flip their new properties at even higher prices.
Has any single piece of legislation ever handed so much money to so few wealthy people in such a short space of time?