The press have always had the ability to sway public opinion, in recent years the power in which the press wields has had more negative effects than positive. The media deliver important matters to the public, in attempts to raise awareness and prompt action in the government and the public. However, as the press’ diversity declines, the media is concentrated into fewer and wealthier hands, the potential then for abuse in the media is enormous.
Australian media ownership can be described as one of the most concentrated in the whole world. In 2011, 86% of newspaper sales in Australian were accounted for by just two newspaper owners (News Corp Australia and Fairfax Media). This is astonishingly high compared to the 54% shared by the top two in the United kingdom, and the even lower 14% for the top two in the United States.
When the FCC allowed media tycoons to consolidate their powers and influence, Rupert Murdoch was one of the most visible benefactors of this change. Murdoch has a large influence over many media platforms, such as newspapers, televisions and magazines. One of His most commonly known newspapers, The Telegraph, has been constantly scrutinized for its bias opinions pushed by Murdoch.
An example of the bias nature of his newspaper was the 2013 election between Kevin Rudd and Tony Abott. The paper was obvious in its discrimination towards the ALP (Australian Labor Party), with the headline “Finally, you now have the chance to… Kick this mob out”, directed towards Kevin Rudd. This liberal stance is reinforced by the Front page that proceeded on the following Sunday, “Australia Needs Tony”.
This media bias in Australia proves a big problem for the public, with less and less diversity in the media coverage. Unable to make up their own mind, the public is slowly being influences by Rupert Murdoch as he pushes his own opinions onto Australia.