There are currently 15 prominent free to air television stations broadcasting in Australia. They are mostly owned by 3 different companies and two by the Australian government.
What does this say about the information we receive from these sources? Does the concentration of media ownership affect the diversity of viewpoints expressed?
The information we receive from those sources more than likely has bias and may not show the entire story or both sides of an argument. This can be seen every weeknight on Today Tonight and A Current Affair. They don’t take the time to research a topic fully and investigate all the facets of an event. It could be concluded that this is laziness, but what if a news network does not run a story or only broadcasts one side of the story because they disagree with or don’t support the opinions or facts expressed? This can create “holes” in our knowledge of a topic and what is happening in the world.
I am a passionate National Rugby League fan (if you didn’t already know). Rugby league is only broadcast on Channel Nine and Fox Sports. I only recently found out that the NRL is owned by NewsCorp. A national sport owned by an international media corporation? I’m sorry, but what? Why? I don’t understand. Not only do the big players in the media own everything we read and watch on traditional media, but they own sports.
Is this minimum diversity of media ownership an innate need for the big media corporations to control? I believe so. As consumers, we are seen by the media as being easily influenced, not very educated, and being unable to question anything.
With the growth in user generated content, citizen journalism and collective intelligence we are seeing this “media monarchy” fail. We, as prosumers are voicing our thoughts on topics, inspiring others to do the same, provoking physical activism on subjects and continuously learning from each other. The internet has shown that legacy media has isolated itself behind walls of red tape, authoritative ideologies and an inability to compromise and learn new things.
The following is a trailer from a recent documentary, Shadows of Liberty, about the incredible control media has over society.
How much control does the media have in Australia?