“Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one” A.J.Liebling.
The concentration of media ownership in Australia is increasing, resulting in a lack of diversity in the information that is reaching the public. The main problem with this is that each media corporation has an agenda, and they are able to filter this into the news, therefore distorting the information that influences the audience.
Why then, does it matter who controls the media? As Elizabeth Hart states in her article Media Ownership, it is because “whoever owns the media owns the message”. As much as we tell ourselves that the news is a source of objective fact and that we are being provided with an unbiased view of current affairs, this is not the case. There is always going to be an element of subjective opinion in the news.
Even as I gather this information, I am questioning its quality. Today’s society is so concerned about the credibility of sources as a result of the emergence of the Internet and the absence of gatekeepers, that they forget that the so called ‘credible’ sources we are provided with are no better. The publisher is the supposed ‘guarantor of quality’; meaning that they control what is being put in the papers. Therefore, a very biased and subjective viewpoint is being portrayed through our media, with a great majority of the population remaining blissfully unaware.
Media ownership matters because of control. Diversity of opinion is useful because it represents everyone’s situation. It allows you to form your own opinions on major issues as opposed to being spoon fed the opinion of the egomaniacal bigots that control our media.