Approximately two minutes after my alarm is silenced from its usual blaring horn, the first thing I do is check my phone for notifications. It is a rare occasion that there will be no such alert, as somebody has either sent me a laughable selfie on snapchat, liked the photo I shared on Instagram or made a ridiculous Facebook status. Then if I feel like it, I will scroll through my Twitter feed in the hope of something scandalous occurring overnight. This business will last about ten minutes on a good day, and then I prepare myself for a flood of information from just a few of my favourite television programs. I religiously switch the TV on at twelve o’clock for my daily dose of Ellen Degeneres and then at 1pm I switch over to watch myself some Hollywood goss on TMZ Live. Then there’s the afternoon news on Channel Seven and Channel Ten’s The Project.
It’s safe to say that over the course of the day I am exposed to a hell of a lot of perspectives, each coming from different sources and media outlets. It is to be noted that whilst my choice in how I receive the news is diverse, the media moguls who control these groups are relatively the same. According to the journal entitled From the Media Moguls to the Money Men? Media Concentration in Australia, “Australia has one of the highest concentrations of media ownership in the world.” Michael Pusey and Marion McCutcheon furthermore state “the situation in Australia has much to do with the historic domination of the Australian media by the three media dynasties of Packer, Fairfax and Murdoch.”
So why is it important to control the media, and moreover why do we need to ensure the media sphere is diversified? The media exerts a significant amount of power in society, shaping personal values and ideals, and in some circumstances, motivating decisions. Giving power to one single entity could potentially cause serious problems, such as misinforming viewers on what is true, or even falsifying information for personal gain. This bias portrayal has been seen a number of times in the Australian media sphere, particularly during the recent election, in which parties were given favour by specific media corporations, and thus swaying the opinion of media consumers and voters. To prevent such events from occurring the Australian Media and Communications Authority (ACMA) established Cross Media Ownership Rules to ensure diversity of ownership and control.
Would you like all your sources of information to come from one source? Would you like to receive only one side of the story? I wouldn’t, and that’s why it’s important to control the way the media works. On a lighter note, here’s one of my favourite Ellen clips:
– Pusey, Michael and McCutcheon, Marion (2011), ‘From the Media Moguls to the Money Men? Media Concentration in Australia’, Media International Australia, No 140, pp. 22-31
– Image Courtesy of http://i.ytimg.com/vi/bqLcwMJkCi0/0.jpg viewed 30 March 2014
– BCM110 Lecture and Tutorial Notes, 25 March 2014.
– Australian Media and Communications Authority, 2014, Home: ACMA, viewed 29 March 2014, < http://www.acma.gov.au >