Media Monopoly – Not A Game To Play

Does it matter who owns and controls the media?

As the deregulation of the current media laws in Australia becomes more and more of a reality, it’s time to question what effect this will have on us – the audience.

The government wants to deconstruct our current media market laws – by removing the current “two out of three” rule and the “75% reach” rule that presently oversights the media distribution in Australia.

The “two of three” rule is a law that has been set up to prevent one body from ‘controlling more than two out of three traditional media platforms’ in one radio licence area. Further, no one company or person can hold the control over a broadcasting television licence that reaches over 75% of the nation.

But the government wants to get rid of these laws, allowing a company or individual to have no restrictions over distribution. Shadow Minister for Communications, Jason Clare, has understood, as stated in an interview with the ABC, the reason behind the reform is to ‘create bigger, more vertically integrated media companies’. And it makes sense. Scrapping these laws would allow media companies to grow to, perhaps, their full potential, rather than be restrained by laws that prevent them from reaching a larger scale audience.

But what problems does this put forward?

Media companies often come with their own ideologies, and these can be present in their media product. The diversity and disparity in the media is important to allow voices from different companies and different individuals to be heard and received by an audience. Throwing away the media laws means that control over Australian media can be had by very few companies, and hence, the diversity that is so essential to creating new ideas, points of view and possibly challenging or conflicting arguments will be lost.

The greater number of people that have control over media, the greater the variation in voices on a topic. In an industry where it is so easy to be biased toward particular issues, from the choice of what to cover to the content itself, it’s so important to have the ability to seek more voices to be able to create your own. How stories are told and making sure you get the whole picture is important – and allowing a monopoly on the media won’t make that easy.

So what’s the verdict?

It does matter who owns the media, and it matters HOW MANY people own it, too.
Media monopoly? Definitely not a game I want to play.

 

Reference List:
Sydney Morning Herald. 2016. Coalition approves media law shake up. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.smh.com.au/business/media-and-marketing/coalition-approves-media-law-shakeup-20160301-gn7248.html. [Accessed 22 March 16].

The Conversation. 2016. Fifield wants media ownership changes passed before the election. [ONLINE] Available at: http://theconversation.com/fifield-wants-media-ownership-changes-passed-before-the-election-55574. [Accessed 22 March 16].

2016, 22 March 16, Local regional content at risk from proposed media law reform, says Shadow Communications Minister. 1. 02 March 16, http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2016/s4416877.htm. 22 March 16.

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4 thoughts on “Media Monopoly – Not A Game To Play

  1. hannahsugerman says:

    Hey Holly!
    Great blog post, all of the links that you incorporated into your post are really insightful, its great to see how you supported what you were saying with relevant information! I completely agree with all the points you raise regarding the problems that could occur if the laws controlling who owns media outlets are cut, and how important it is to create diversity in the “variation of voices on a topic”. However, it would have been great to read who owns the media platforms that you are using on a regular basis and how who owns and regulates media content affects you!

    Overall, awesome blog post!

    Hannah

    Liked by 1 person

  2. nicolahahaha says:

    Hey Holly!
    I loved reading this blog post. The information you provided was succinct, relevant and totally fascinating. By simplifying the proposed laws, and detailing how they could potentially affect the media we consume, you’ve created a really great and enlightening read!
    I particularly enjoyed the two question structure of your post, by explaining the initial issue in the first section, and then elaborating further in the second, you’ve made the post easy to read and understand; a great quality!
    Also, as a sucker for some good, old-fashioned wordplay, the monopoly metaphor had me hooked immediately.
    Great work Holly, keep it up! ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jademariani says:

    Hey Holly,

    I really enjoyed reading this post and found it very informative. By using hyperlinks right from the start, it gave your post an overall impression of professionalism and credibility. I found the information very detailed and relevant to your argument. I also thought it was smart to focus on a particular aspect of media control (the 2/3 rule) and form your argument around it. The only thing I thought you could have done differently was perhaps discuss how media regulations affect you on a personal level 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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