We read newspapers, watch news broadcasts, listen to the radio and read magazines. But do we ever stop to think about just who exactly runs these media stations and what their ideologies are?
The diversity of media ownership in Australia is declining; this means that we are subject to fewer opinions, and surrounded by the same few media giants (perhaps bias?) beliefs regarding issues and news.
But does this matter?
Yes! Media critic Danny Schechter comments, “the danger of this kind of media concentration is that it robs democracy of diversity. It robs viewers from being exposed to a wider range of views.” This can be very dangerous in some circumstances, a key example would be Hitler and the Nazis, when they eliminated all opposing media, and thus had complete control over what was published and aired.
With hindsight it is clear from this role of the government in the media that such strong ideologies being imposed on the people – and a lack of opposing views, can trick them into believing such ideologies.
Furthermore, even though all media sources relay the information differently, they may be owned by the same company and only presented differently to attract a variety of audiences. For example, the magazines FAMOUS, In Style, WHO and Home Beautiful are all owned by Pacific Magazines (part of the media empire Seven Media Group) – which is owned by Kerry Stokes; so even though there are different people relaying the information; they’re all just puppets in front of a cunning media giant.
In regards to Australian media ownership, majority of the different media networks belong to News Corp, Seven Media Group and Fairfax Media; which own networks over a lot of the media industry, including: film, magazine, publishing, sports & television industries. Australian media ownership is reportedly ‘one of the most concentrated in the world’, with 11 of the 12 capital city daily papers being owned by either News Corp or Fairfax Media.
So, next time you watch the news, read a newspaper or magazine or listen to the radio, just ask yourself which company owns this source, who owns that company and what are their ideologies?