(Image: AAP/Paul Miller)

When he was communications minister in the Howard years, Richard Alston accused Labor of having a "mogul-centric media policy". Rarely has a blacker pot criticised a kettle: media policy in Australia under Labor and Coalition governments has been mogul-centric for the best part of 100 years.

In recent decades, free-to-air television owners have dictated policy because of their control over what images voters see during election campaigns.

More latterly still as the media industry has collapsed, News Corp -- which could make no headway against the free-to-air oligopolists in the 1990s and 2000s -- has been able to dictate the government's policy towards Facebook and Google and the cowing and destruction of the ABC.