I didn’t think it was important to know who owned the media and nor did I really care but here is why you should.
Who “owns” and/or “controls” the media you use to access the news?
“Australia’s level of media ownership is one of the highest in the world” Shadow minister for communications, Michelle Rowland 2016. Meaning that Australian media is not as diverse as other country’s media ownerships.
Before the 2018 merger between Fairfax media and Nine, the media industry and its owners looked a bit like this.
“The 4 biggest players in the legacy media industry, News Corp Australia, Fairfax Media, Seven West Media and APN News accounted for more than 90% of the revenue in the industry” (Lidberg, J. Pg15). This shows us how concentrated our media in Australia truly is. Viewers, listeners and readers have a limited range of outlets to receive their news from due to how many media outlets these companies own throughout Australia.
If we talk about emergent media outlets, Facebook, Google and Amazon, they are the top players online making some of our Australian legacy media companies incomparable with such a large global dominance.
Does this matter?
Australian media ownership does matter as this high concentrated media ownership has allowed for companies such as News Corp Australia and Fairfax media to own the majority of national and capital city newspapers. TV and radio is mainly owned by the 4 biggest local free-to-air companies, Seven West Media, Nine Entertainment, Ten Network Holdings and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation are making a sum of 70% profit on advertisings and government funding (The Conversation, 2016).
While many Australians receive their news through TV programs, radios and newspapers, many Australians will also search online outlets such as Google and Facebook to verify the news they have heard or seen. This shows us that not all of us trust the news sources we have in Australia.
What trust do you have in your news sources?
Many Australians seek to verify their news online suggesting that many Australians will seek second or third opinions on news to ensure that they are receiving the most accurate and least bias news possible.
The trust Australians have with their media sources mainly focuses on their political standing. For example many liberal siding Australians choose to watch news from Channel Nine knowing that Fairfax media also sides liberal.
This does not mean that you have to as well, it simply suggests that not all of us trust the news you receive. So in saying that, it is up to your personal choice to decide if you trust the news you receive brought to you by the media you choose to consume.
Dwyer, T. 2016, Factcheck: is Australia’s level of media ownership concentration one of the highest in the world? [online]. The Conversation, 12 December, viewed 19th April 2020, https://theconversation.com/factcheck-is-australias-level-of-media-ownership-concentration-one-of-the-highest-in-the-world-68437
Lidberg, J. 2019,The distortion of the Australian public sphere: Media ownership concentration in Australia [online]. AQ – Australian Quarterly, Vol. 90, No. 1, January, viewed 19th April 2020 Availability: <https://search-informit-com-au.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/documentSummary;dn=106474502585941;res=IELAPA> ISSN: 1443-3605.