Almost 100,000 Australians have now signed a petition for a Royal Commission into the Murdoch media empire, led by former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
Rudd – who has long been an outspoken critic of News Corp – launched the campaign over the weekend, comparing the media business to ‘a cancer’.
“Australians have watched with growing anger at what the Murdoch media monopoly is doing to our country. A cancer on democracy,” he said.
“Today I am launching a national petition to establish a #MurdochRoyalCommission.”
Australians have watched with growing anger at what the Murdoch media monopoly is doing to our country. A cancer on democracy.
Today I am launching a national petition to establish a #MurdochRoyalCommission.
— Kevin Rudd (@MrKRudd) October 9, 2020
It is the “abuse of media monopoly” Rudd is particularly interested in exploring, which will also include Nine’s acquisition of Fairfax.
On the petition, Rudd argues” “Our democracy depends on diverse sources of reliable, accurate and independent news. But media ownership is becoming more concentrated alongside new business models that encourage deliberately polarising and politically manipulated news.”
After garnering over 38,000 signatures within the first 24 hours, causing the site to briefly crash.
According to Rudd, the Parliament House IT system started to recognise some users as bots.
Rudd has previously questioned the ACCC’s News Media Bargaining Code, which will see the likes of Google and Facebook forced to pay media businesses, including News Corp, for news.
“I always get a little bit suspicious when the Murdoch media get excited about something and they’re really excited about this code,” he said in a recent YouTube video.
“I get doubly suspicious when Scotty from Marketing produces legislation to make the Murdoch media feel really happy.”