Surrendering Control

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On average Australian adults are exposed to six or more hours of broadcasting services every day either from watching TV at the end of the day or listening to the radio on the commute to work (Albon, 1998). That equates to over 2190 hours each year. But who regulates and controls the media paraded in our face? The dynamics of media ownership within Australia have been shifting in recent years with many proprietors within the industry encouraging a review of traditional laws and legislations. Legislators have always been concerned about the power of electronic media’s influence on public opinion and therefore have in place laws denying any licence holder access to 75% or more of the current population (Albon, 1998).  

“No medium of entertainment… has such powerful influence for good or evil as broadcasting” (Albon, 1998)

In recent weeks Malcom Turnbull has questioned the validity of these existing laws claiming they are a “crucial barrier” in network mergers (Wilson, 2014). However, the reasoning behind such strict ownership laws is to promote a diversity of opinion. By lifting existing laws who’s to say the major power players such as Rupert Murdoch or James Packer won’t buy up the entire industry? The concentration of media ownership within this country allows money and power to be utilised as a filtration system of content. Rupert Murdoch already currently controls half of the newspapers in Australia including online. Imagine enabling him to buy a TV network then a radio station. Our major source of information would be streamed directly from him. Being CEO of News Corp already grants him the power not just in the editorial line but covering some issues and views than others (Beder, 2004)

Without consciously knowing it we are living in a world where are personal opinions and thoughts are moulded to the ideology of large corporations. The Frankfurt School of thinking addressed this issue by introducing the ‘Critical Theory’ and critiquing the ideologies behind natural science. By attempting to place one-self outside of philosophical strictures and the confines of existing structures we can be reflective, self-critical and avoid any pretensions towards absolute truth (2014)

Media regulation and ownership honestly never crossed my mind or captured my interests before, but through the development of this blog post it has challenged me to look beneath the superficial story line and more at the production. I’m quite frightened to think if we are all fed this one ideology of the world how are going to be able to move forward and evolve as a society…

Albon, R,  Papandrea, F, 1998, Media Regulation in Australia and Public Interest, Institute of Public Affairs Limited, Victoria Australia

Beder, S, 2004, Moulding and Manipulating the News, Viewed 9/4/2014, http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1043&context=artspapers

Independent Australia, 2012, http://www.independentaustralia.net/article-display/stop-rupert-murdoch-owning-every-australian-newspaper-and-tv-station,3899

Wilson, L, 2014, ‘Communications minister Malcom Turnbull flags media ownership charges’, 9th March, Viewed 7/4/2014, www.theaustralian.com.au/media/communications-minister-malcom-turnball-flags-media-ownership-changes/story-e6frg996-1226849380555

19th February 2014, Frankfurt School, Wikipedia, Viewed 10/4/2014, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankfurt_School

 

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One thought on “Surrendering Control

  1. brilliant use of rhetoric! only picked up on one spelling mistake ahahhaah. i agree very much when you mention Malcolm Turnbull’s recent talks on removing legislation restricting the ownership of media outlets in Australia. I fear for the future if he gets his way.

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