May 8, 2017

Reform package will deliver Murdoch massive control

By delivering a free-to-air network to Rupert Murdoch, the government media reforms will afford News Corp unique power to impose its own agenda.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

The big change in the government's media reform package has always been the proposed abolition of the two out of three rule -- which prevents the same owner holding a TV licence, a radio licence and an associated newspaper in a market.

Because of changes in the media industry, however, the two out of three rule -- the abolition of which was mooted by the Howard government in 2006 but abandoned to get the National Party on board --  is now more important than ever, because its abolition will deliver four out of four to the Murdoch family. It will be able to control not merely radio licences, newspapers, Sky News (now controlled by News Corp) but, most crucially, a free-to-air television network.

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8 thoughts on “Reform package will deliver Murdoch massive control

  1. klewso

    It’s nice to see a government doing as they’re told – so now for all the good free press dividend, to keep His Limited News Party elected and in control of favours?
    …. Which just leaves that little matter of the left-wing of the ABC….?

  2. zut alors

    It f0llows that we have the government we deserve delivered by the media we deserve. We allowed it to happen, folks, asleep at the wheel of apathy.

  3. Pollietragic

    Oh Boy, just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, the LNP offer up another method to help existing media giants to expand, and further concentrate Australia’s media ownership.

    As with all PM’s since Whitlam, Turnbull visited Murdoch (in New York) shortly after he gained the PM role from the Abbottrocity. Looks like Murdoch would call that meeting fruitful.
    Turnbull must surely give a heartfelt thanks to Murdoch for having his empire go extremely quietly on the Abbott challenge, and the doubling deficit / economic incompetence lines that Limited News abused to daily thrash to the ALP to death.

    1. leon knight

      How true Pollie, and doubly lucky that MT only needs an occasional whisper in Guthrie’s ear to make ABC criticism go quiet as well – but even with all this luck the LNP still hangs on by a thin thread, oblivion waiting in the wings…!!

  4. Bill Hilliger

    Rupert owns Australia and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is his good boy!

  5. AR

    Every day, in every way Talcum continues to find yet more ways to abase himself when few would have thought it possible for him to grovel even lower.
    As I said in a previous comment, it doesn’t work to suck upso hard to the mudorc.
    Sooner rather than later, the moment he sees an advantage he will turn on a toady who has served his malign purposes.

  6. klewso

    Two Turnbull’s “legacies” :-
    * a leg-up for Rupert ‘Uncle Sam’ Murdoch, and
    * a dry-rot inoculated ABC?
    …… Because Mal-adjusted can’t handle criticism …. and our last line of “defence” is Casper Shorten?
    Roll over – we’re rooted, along with our informed democratic process.

  7. Northy

    ‘Moreover it will do so when its capacity to frighten politicians is diminishing as its newspaper readerships contract to an old white base that is already rusted-on conservative, and partisan campaigns by tabloids like Sydney’s Daily Telegraph demonstrably fail to shift voters.’ – Absolutely spot on. The only thing I would say about News Corp is that while many of its products are far-right and agenda-fuelled, it does have a limited number of products that aren’t. The company seems to engage in a kind of hyper targeting of its chosen audiences. So for Fox, the tabloids and The Oz this is old white cranky conservatives. But then you have which plays to a younger left-leaning audience. And the News Local publications which ditch the ideology in favour of balanced local news. We shall see what they do with free-to-air. This doesn’t undermine the argument that giving Murdoch more power is a very bad move, however.

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