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posted by martyb on Thursday November 12 2020, @09:49PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the upside-down-under dept.

Australian parliament to probe Rupert Murdoch's media dominance:

Australia's parliament will launch an inquiry into media ownership, a prominent senator said, after more than half a million people signed a petition demanding a probe into Rupert Murdoch's dominance of the news industry.

The online petition attracted a record number of signatories after being launched on October 12 by former Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, a frequent target of newspapers controlled by Murdoch's News Corp.

[...] The country's opposition parties united behind the move in the Senate to effectively sidestep the conservative government, which enjoys strong support from the Murdoch press and had not acted on the petition's demand for a royal commission.

In launching the petition, Rudd decried News Corp as a "cancer on our democracy" operating an effective "monopoly".

"This power is routinely used to attack opponents in business and politics by blending editorial opinion with news reporting," the petition stated. "These facts chill free speech and undermine public debate."

Rudd and Turnbull will be called to give evidence at Senate inquiry into media diversity:

The former prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull will be called to give evidence at a Senate inquiry into media diversity that will examine the dominance of News Corp Australia and its impact on democracy.

The Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young won support for the inquiry on Wednesday following the popularity of Rudd's petition for a royal commission into the Murdoch media.

Hanson-Young told Guardian Australia it was essential the two former leaders, who have been outspoken about the role of the Murdoch press, be allowed to "speak frankly and have the protection of parliamentary privilege, which is important when you're talking about issues of power and influence".

News Corp Australia's editors and commercial executives, alongside independent and regional and rural editors, would also be called to give evidence, she said.

Kevin Rudd - former Prime Minister from the Labor Party - that's the "progressive party" in US parlance
Malcolm Turnbull - former Prime Minister from the Liberal Party - those are the "conservative wing"
Both of them were attacked by Murdock's publications in their time.

The petition (disclaimer) which I signed, because it's good to cancel a near-monopolist who lies. I'm having a good kind of surprise now seeing the Parliament went with it, usually they don't because there's no law to force them to.


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  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 12 2020, @09:56PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 12 2020, @09:56PM (#1076765)

    Reparations for Runaway!

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Azuma Hazuki on Thursday November 12 2020, @10:24PM (6 children)

    by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 12 2020, @10:24PM (#1076776) Journal

    The timing on this is bizarre. Why now?

    --
    I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 12 2020, @10:27PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 12 2020, @10:27PM (#1076779)

      Deconstructing QAnon.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Mykl on Thursday November 12 2020, @11:03PM (3 children)

      by Mykl (1112) on Thursday November 12 2020, @11:03PM (#1076797)

      It's being instigated (at least in part) due to a concerted effort by one of Australia's ex-Prime Ministers, Kevin Rudd. Kevin was elected in 2007, ousted in a leadership spill in 2010 (the Prime Minister is elected by the parliamentary members of their party and can be voted out of the Prime Minister position at any time) and then won it back in a counter-ouster in 2013. He then lost the election 3 months later. Kevin is very good at holding grudges and has not gone quietly into that good night.

      His initial ouster was due to a concerted negative campaign against him by the Murdoch media, who also treated his successor, Julia Gillard, poorly. Murdoch backed Tony Abbott's Liberal Party (the name may confuse Americans - the Liberal Party in Australia are the conservatives), who went on to become Prime Minister in 2013 and was a disaster.

      It's taken Kevin 7 years to get enough people behind his campaign to look at Murdoch more seriously. I would say that his arguments gained a great deal of traction due to the behavior of Fox News in the US, as well as a drastic lurch into 'crazy town' territory for some of his local media more recently (The Australian newspaper being a significant example).

      • (Score: 2) by Mykl on Thursday November 12 2020, @11:12PM

        by Mykl (1112) on Thursday November 12 2020, @11:12PM (#1076799)

        Here's his announcement of the petition [twitter.com] that got this going

      • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Friday November 13 2020, @01:53AM (1 child)

        by krishnoid (1156) on Friday November 13 2020, @01:53AM (#1076865)

        It's taken Kevin 7 years to get enough people behind his campaign to look at Murdoch more seriously. I would say that his arguments gained a great deal of traction due to the behavior of Fox News in the US

        Ah, a populist candidate. They're going to regret not letting him in on the plot to let Murdoch undermine the United States via Fox News until it was confused and fragmented enough to be unable to resist an Australian invasion.

        Murdoch was going to try moving from hydroxychloroquine to encouraging Americans to lick cane toads ("Why not try it? I've heard a lot of good stories.") to cure SARS-COV-2, and he would have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn't for that pesky Kevin.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2020, @04:22AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2020, @04:22AM (#1076915)

          Damn, we missed out on a good export of cane toads!

          I mean, China won't take 'em any more...

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by c0lo on Thursday November 12 2020, @11:32PM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 12 2020, @11:32PM (#1076805) Journal

      Why what?

      Why Rudd set up the petition? It wasn't quite now, it was about a month ago (Oct 1o-ish). After Murdoch's papers we're relentlessly bitching about lockdowns and border closures and "freedums" (a good thing we got to suppress pretty good the virus before the population got into acute COVID fatigue). This letting aside the too many times back his shock-jockeys created... disturbances, to use a mild term.

      Why the Parliament decided now to set up the inquiry commission? I don't know for sure, but 0.5M signatures isn't something the politicians hear can afford to ignore without consequences.

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 12 2020, @11:32PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 12 2020, @11:32PM (#1076804)

    But the Republicans got rid of it so that Murdoch could become a US citizen and buy up all of the various print and OTA media.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Friday November 13 2020, @01:00AM (2 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 13 2020, @01:00AM (#1076833) Homepage Journal

    "An arrogant cancer" is a good description of the man. I've accused MSM and the D party often enough of being divisive forces in America. Murdoch is no less divisive than any of the rest. Burn him, and set an example for what we should be doing with Fox, CNN, and several other "news" outlets.

    --
    “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.” ― George S. Patton on Ukraine
    • (Score: 2) by coolgopher on Friday November 13 2020, @04:26AM (1 child)

      by coolgopher (1157) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 13 2020, @04:26AM (#1076918)

      I wasn't sure whether you were referring to Murdoch or Rudd with the "arrogant cancer" comment

      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday November 13 2020, @05:18AM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 13 2020, @05:18AM (#1076933) Homepage Journal

        Rudd? He's basically a nobody to me. Yeah, I know who he is, but he has zero, or very near zero, affect on life in 'Murica. If some Aussies see him as a cancer - well, that's theirs to take care of. So, I don't really care about him, or his politics much. Murdoch is the cancer that affects the United States.

        --
        “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.” ― George S. Patton on Ukraine
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2020, @01:19AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2020, @01:19AM (#1076844)

    I get most of my news from news.com.au which matches up with news.abc.net.au minus the racist angle

    Am I missing something?

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by NoMaster on Friday November 13 2020, @04:09AM (1 child)

      by NoMaster (3543) on Friday November 13 2020, @04:09AM (#1076910)

      News.com.au is the mild, socially-acceptable face of News Ltd / News Corp in Australia.

      They save most of the parochial shitmongering bullshit for their state-based news websites (e.g. the Herald-Sun in Vic, the Daily Telegraph in Sydney, or the Courier-Mail in Qld), and even more so the actual printed newspapers themselves. And even more than that, Sky News on cable & rural networks - where failed politicians, their hangers-on, and their vituperative paedophile apologist and convicted racist fanboys congregate to spout partisan opinion as fact and be given a level of respect out of all proportion to their actual audience numbers.

      (A recent 'special edition' program by one of their partisan talking heads - 60 minutes of non-stop lies and fanciful warnings attacking a state premier for controlling the COVID-19 outbreak in their state - was I think the highest-ever rating 'news' programme on Sky News. It certainly got about double their normal ratings; ~170k vs ~75k - which should tell you something about how few people watch Sky News, and leave you wondering why politicians on the Right treat it as important. But it still rated less than repeats of Peppa Pig and Bluey on the ABC Kids channel that day, which themselves weren't even the highest rating programmes on the minor channels that day…)

      But yes, the ABC has been getting worse as it's been repeatedly crippled by funding cuts and partisan managerial appointments, and is getting close to being news.com.au without the racist angle.

      --
      Live free or fuck off and take your naïve Libertarian fantasies with you...
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2020, @04:18PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2020, @04:18PM (#1077058)

        Convicted racist? Is it a crime in Australia?

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by fustakrakich on Friday November 13 2020, @01:39AM

    by fustakrakich (6150) on Friday November 13 2020, @01:39AM (#1076855) Journal

    I still want to see the paternity test... "Godfather?" [bbc.com]... uh huh...

    --
    Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2020, @01:54AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2020, @01:54AM (#1076866)

    > a prominent senator said

    when you get past the byline...

    > Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, a prominent politician from the minor Greens party

    She's a prominent figure in an ineffectual party that hasn't had any sway in Australian politics for over 10 years. She's a far-left populist, basically.

    People were really hoping that someone else /other/ than the Greens would pick this up-- but now the campaign is good as dead.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2020, @01:12PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 13 2020, @01:12PM (#1076994)

    China has now blocked timber imports from Australia [news.com.au] in an ongoing action against Australia in retaliation for Australian politicians inquiring into the origins of COVID.

    At the beginning of this month, China alleged a shipment of rock lobsters worth $2 million had been contaminated and left them sitting on a tarmac in Shanghai while Australian authorities scrambled to find a quick solution.

    In September, Australia’s largest grain export CBH found itself on China’s blacklist.

    And this week it is timber.

    Where is the evidence the shipment was "contaminated"?

    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Friday November 13 2020, @03:52PM

      by Freeman (732) on Friday November 13 2020, @03:52PM (#1077039) Journal

      China is big, but they depend on the rest of the world as well. They just tend to be able to abuse their citizens more than a lot of other countries and get away with it. In the event that enough nations fight their criminal practices, we might be able to give their citizens enough time to figure out that their government is horrible. The Chinese people are the best positioned to fix their own problems and as a side-effect, hopefully fix some of ours.

      --
      Forced Microsoft Account for Windows Login → Switch to Linux.
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