Rupert Murdoch owns one of the largest media conglomerates in the world. The power of the conservative is also evident in Australia.
“It was where I earned my spurs as a reporter,” said journalist Lisa Millar recently on Australian television ABC, with tears in her eyes.
Your local newspaper is dead – discontinued after over 100 years. The American company News Corp, led by Australian-born Rupert Murdoch, has shut down over 130 local newspapers or published the publication on the Internet. Older people in particular, for whom an Apple is still an apple and not a smartphone, are losing their only source of local information.
Media scientist Martin Hirst says the company recently received around $55 million from the government to support local newspapers. “People are now wondering where this money is,” said Hirst.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will hardly ask Rupert Murdoch. Morrison’s conservative government is indebted to the media mogul.
An aggressive media campaign against the social-democratic opposition in the run-up to the 2019 elections, riddled with half-truths and wild claims, unexpectedly helped the government to re-election. According to a journalist, the power of the 89-year-old extends so deeply into Australian politics “that anyone who stands in his way will soon regret it because he is lost in a swamp of propaganda, agitation and defamation”.
Rupert Murdoch owns one of the most powerful media conglomerates in the world. 39 percent of News Corp shares are owned by his family. In the United States, the company is the primary source of information for millions of conservative voters and Trump supporters via the Fox News television channel. In Australia, News Corp publishes most of the print media, including the only national daily newspaper. In some cities, Murdoch is the only source of information printed daily. To this end, News Corp operates the Sky News television channel. In terms of political orientation and journalistic aggressiveness, he is not inferior to Fox News.
Many journalists propagate neoliberal ideology, apparently uninhibited by journalistic norms, both in reports and in comments. This is the worldview of Murdoch, an ideology that is also pursued by the conservative side of Australian politics, critics say. Cultural war instead of reporting: Supposedly “left” topics such as renewable energies, multiculturalism, asylum and public media are constantly criticized. To date, certain News Corp journalists have denied man-made climate change. Murdoch does not appear in the editorial office as a dictator, according to ex-News Corp journalist Peter Fray. “He didn’t tell us what to write. But we knew what he was expecting from us.”
“Dealing with the Murdoch mafia is like being gutted every day,” former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said in a recent speech. He calls for an investigation into Murdoch’s influence. This is the “biggest cancer that eats Australian democracy”. A relentless campaign by the News Corp media had twice cost the Social Democrats the highest political office. Rudd’s successor Julia Gillard, the first woman to head the Australian government, went under the Murdoch title in a bombing of hatred of women. Even the conservative Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull became a victim because he – tentatively – wanted to tackle climate change.
Only one goal seems to be even more important for Rupert Murdoch than preventing climate protection: the end of ABC. News Corp calls for the privatization of the supposedly “left” public television and radio station in Australia. According to critics, Murdoch is not just about destroying one of the last bastions of quality journalism, but about eliminating a competitor who offers tax-financed money that Murdoch wants to earn money with.