News Corp, which now controls nearly 60% of the print media in Australia, has skewed public debate on climate change policy, promoted grand-scale climate misinformation, encouraged negative sentiments towards climate action, and actively driven a political wedge into our public debate.
That’s according to a new 100-page Getup report by Dr Benetta Brevini and Associate Professor Michael Ward. Dubbed “the most comprehensive study of who controls our media in many years” by Bernard Keane, a new 100-page report by Dr Benetta Brevini and Associate Professor Michael Ward lays bare Australia’s media crisis.
It reveals our media as more concentrated, less transparent, and less accountable than ever before, with an inordinate amount of power and influence sitting with major media corporations like the Murdoch Press.
The report shows that the highly concentrated media ownership has had a corrosive impact on Australia’s democracy. It has skewed public debate, favouring the interests of the wealthy and powerful over the public good.
This has been clearly evidenced in the national debates on climate change policy, where the scale of News Corp’s climate misinformation has hindered climate policy, encouraged negative sentiments towards climate action, and actively driven a political wedge into our public debate.
Dismissal of the link between climate change and the disastrous 2019/2020 fires led to extensive criticism of News Corp, including international coverage from The New York Times reporting on “How Rupert Murdoch is Influencing Australia’s Bushfire Debate” and Al Jazeera reporting on “How ‘Murdochracy’ controls the climate debate in Australia”.
The report makes clear recommendations for reform, including:
- Enhancing the legislative scope and authority of the Australian Communications and Media Authority;
- Overhauling media regulation changes that have effectively entrenched media concentration;
- Reintroducing caps on media ownership in geographical markets; and
- Increasing public investment in news journalism.
As the Senate inquiry into media diversity continues its examination of the influence of the Murdoch Press, we have an unmissable opportunity to push for change.
The time has come for the monopoly by the Murdocracy to end.
Please share Getup’s Report, available here, and let everyone know the reality of climate change. Let’s all rally for accurate and inclusive journalism in Australia too! Thank you for helping.