Australia is trying to do something about the problem of right wing propaganda in their country where Rupert Murdoch owns a 59% share of the metropolitan and national print media markets.
Australia has one of the highest levels of media concentration in the world. News Corp apparently plans to expand its reach in the country.
Former Prime Ministers Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull are making their case for dismantling the Murdoch hold on their media and they are using the January 6 insurrection in the U.S. as an example of what can happen when the media is allowed to run amok through unregulated ownership.
America should follow suit. We need to stop saying it’s too hard and start figuring it out. As things now stand it seems Democracy is unsustainable in the current media environment and it seems to be getting worse instead of better.
This week in Eric Boehlert’s Press Run newsletter is a look at how Australia is trying to solve their Murdoch media problem. You can subscribe for free to the Press Run newsletter or you can donate if you appreciate information about our broken media system. You can also listen to the newsletter.
Imagine if the toxic nature of Rupert Murdoch media’s lies and bullying became so overpowering in America that a bipartisan movement sprang up against it. Imagine if former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush came together to demand a Congressional inquiry into Fox News and the danger Murdoch poses to our democracy.
That’s what recently happened in Australia, when former Prime Ministers Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull — occupying different parts of the political spectrum — joined forces to denounce the Murdoch media cancer that’s eating the country. They’re urging the government to take steps to diversify media ownership and to break up the dangerous coalition that now exists between right-wing politicians and the Murdoch press, which serves as an unaccountable, but extremely powerful, entity in Australian politics.
Parliament hearings were held after Rudd’s petition to establish a royal commission into media diversity became Australia’s largest-ever e-petition, and the country’s third largest petition of any kind.
Turnbull: “We are drowning in lies.”
So is America.