I’d like to think that I would consider myself as someone who doesn’t get washed up by mainstream media. To be frankly honest I don’t really intentionally, actively connect or engage myself in any kind of news media, especially commercial television. Ironic, I know as a Communications and Media student. However, I’ve discovered that somehow the media follows you whether you watch TV, read the news or not. As it’s not like I completely disconnected myself from media successfully if I knew that Cyclone Debbie happened in QLD recently. How?…aliens perhaps…or most likely the internet.
I may be disconnected to television, radio and newspapers. However, my constant use of the internet exposes me to the news so consistently it’s as if i was an active seeker. The figure below from 2012 although may be outdated, still displays how the internet is rapidly rising to become the main source of news. More recent reports from the Digital News Report 2016 also show that from the internet, social media is the main contributor where 36% of Australians start to discover the news. Solving the mystery on how I unintentionally stood connected with the news.
In ways I viewed the media similarly to how comedian, Neel Kolhatkar depicted it in his youtube skit below. Lacking diversity, based on biasness and solely for the ratings, thus is why I normally steered clear from commercial television.
Although it seems like the Australian media has been in constant turmoil in regards to ownership. Currently, the laws in Australia has whats called the ‘two out of three law’ which states that one media player cannot own a radio, tv and print operation. It also forbids one media operator to reach over 75% of the population. Yet, the map below illustrates how only a handful of people own the full majority of Australia’s media and the interconnectedness of them all. Reinforcing, that Australia’s media landscape is highly concentrated. As Newscorp owns 70% of newspapers and the four dominant players in TV (Seven West Media, Nine Entertainment, Ten Network Holdings and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation) are accountable for more than 70% of revenue.
Despite it all, those laws are about to be reformed as proposals are being made to diminish the rule that stops commercial television networks broadcasting to more than 75% of Australians. As Communications Minister, Mitch Fifield expressed that the laws were outdated and doesn’t include the growth of online media. As if it hasn’t already been immensely controlled and lacked diversity, the new reforms will only intensify my wariness of Australian media. Encouraging my idea to continue to disconnect myself from Australian media but rather obtain my news from aliens.
Dwyer, T 2016, FactCheck: Is Australia’s level of media ownership concentration one of the highest in the world?’, The Conversation, Dec 12 2016, viewed April 2, <https://theconversation.com/factcheck-is-australias-level-of-media-ownership-concentration-one-of-the-highest-in-the-world-68437>
Johnston, R 2016, Infographic: Who Owns What Media in Australia?, Gizmodo, website, Jan 15 2016, viewed April 2, <https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2016/01/infographic-who-owns-what-media-in-australia/>