Sarah Hanson-Young will move to establish a Senate inquiry on media diversity today, after more than 500,000 people put their name to a former Prime Minister’s petition for a Royal Commission.
Former Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s petition for a Royal Commission, coined the ‘Murdoch Royal Commission’, into the need for greater diversity in the media has been penned in Parliament.
Speaking to Guardian Australia, Senator Hanson-Young (pictured) said the “cosy relationship” between the Coalition government and News Corp should be scrutinised.
“When you have half a million people signing a petition premised on investigating Murdoch’s dominance of news media the parliament should be listening,” she said.
Despite the Murdoch Royal Commission petition being taken to Parliament by Labor MP Andrew Leigh—after it garnered 501,876 signatures—the Australian Labor Party has not yet backed it.
The petition aims to draw attention to the concentration of ownership in Australia’s print media by News Corp, alongside investigating monopolies like Facebook and Google, and Nine’s takeover of former Fairfax outlets The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
Rudd said he created the petition to start a national conversation about the Murdoch-owned media, which he described as “a cancer on our democracy”, a sentiment echoed by former Liberal PM Malcolm Turnbull, who has backed the petition.
On the ABC’s Q+A this week, Turnbull said News Corp had become an organisation for “pure propaganda”, taking aim at its coverage of the Black Summer bushfires and its agenda on climate change denialism by pushing a narrative around “arsonists” being responsible for the fires.
A statement from News Corp distributed to the media denied this assertion, saying “only 3.4 per cent”—113—of its 3,335 stories about the bushfires had mentioned arson or arsonists.
“Australians have clearly become increasingly concerned about media diversity in Australia and the Greens share those concerns,” Senator Hanson-Young told Guardian Australia.
“We need to ensure we have a strong and independent public interest news industry to support our democracy.”
According to Guardian Australia, the Greens will need the support of Labor, the crossbench, and One Nation to get an inquiry established by the environment and communications references committee.
The committee would reportedly examine the state of media diversity, independence and reliability in Australia and the impact it has on public interest journalism and democracy.
Issues to be covered under the scope of the investigation would include the access voters have to independent news, the impact of the closure of media outlets, and the reduction in the number of journalists across Australia.
According to Guardian Australia, it would also look into the barriers faced by small independent outlets and the role of newswires, like the Australian Associated Press, in supporting public interest journalism.
Senator Hanson-Young told Guardian Australia a Senate inquiry would provide an opportunity for the proper consideration of the impact Facebook and Google are having on media diversity, as well.
She said the US election had highlighted the need for truth in journalism and the need to call out unsubstantiated and false claims.
Featured image source: Facebook/Senator Sarah Hanson-Young
Nikkie Tutorials, aka Nikkie de Jager, a Dutch makeup artist with more than 13 million YouTube subscribers, has been named the first transgender host of Eurovision. de Jager was originally slated to host the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest online, before it was ultimately canceled. This year, she will be hosting Eurovision both in-person, and online. […]
New research by Roy Morgan shows Australians are less likely than a year ago to buy products across a wide range of industries if they know the product is ‘Made in China’. The largest declines were for clothes, electrical goods, mobile phones, footwear and sporting goods. In 2020 only 24 per cent of Australians said […]
Global beauty brand and certified B Corp The Body Shop has added SEO to the scope of services provided by Havas Media Melbourne off the back of exceptional results from the agency. Havas Media was appointed to handle media strategy, planning and implementation for The Body Shop last year. Its first campaign, delivered for the […]
Queerstories, the award-winning podcast celebrating the culture and creativity of the LGBTQI+ community, has joined the Acast Creator network. The podcast is part of a national storytelling project curated by Maeve Marsden, which also features a book and event series, and has become wildly popular over the past four years. It will now be hosted […]
After season one of ABC’s Love On The Spectrum (pictured above) was picked up for international release by Netflix, season two premiered last night on Aussie telly to 402,000 viewers. The show follows the romantic lives of Australian young people on the autism spectrum. Coming out on top overall was Seven News with 983,000 viewers, followed by Nine […]
In its first major brand campaign since Defence Force Recruiting returned to the agency, VMLY&R has created ‘Your life, plus Army Reserve’. The energetic campaign demonstrates that you don’t need to give up your lifestyle, your career, your day job or your studies to join the Army Reserve. Sweetshop director Joel Harmsworth was enlisted to […]
New research conducted by Nine’s marketing solutions division, Powered and Fiftyfive5, reveals local identity is becoming increasingly more important for Australians, and is having a significant impact on our culture. Now more than ever we have adapted to “living local”, from travelling closer to home, to increasingly supporting brands and businesses that align to hyper-local […]
Last month, triple j Unearthed dropped an incredibly hot sample pack, featuring musical parts generously donated by Gang of Youths, Lime Cordiale, Alison Wonderland, Genesis Owusu, San Cisco, Vallis Alps and Touch Sensitive. Then it was over to the triple j Unearthed music community, who took those musical parts and morphed them into their own […]
Treasury Wine Estates has taken the launch of its latest varietal, 19 Crimes Snoop Cali Red, to the streets with an interactive campaign in collaboration with renowned Californian icon, Snoop Dogg. The campaign was created by Cashmere Agency in the US with regional roll out of the campaign led by Mindshare and Wunderman Thompson. Revolution360 […]