Rewriting history

Former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating tackles the proposed changes to the country’s media laws:

“The Government’s apparent decision to close down any option for new free-to-air television outlets or multiple channels while removing the existing cross-media laws and foreign ownership restrictions is a recipe for massive media concentration and further abuses of power by the existing network owners [Kerry Packer and Rupert Murdoch].”

True enough, though Keating needs to be take some responsibility for the media moguls unprecedented power, due to his decisions while in power.

It was back in 2003 that the Sydney Morning Herald refused to run a Keating article on the same topic. In that same year, Eric Beecher – current owner of online magazine Crikey – offered these immortal lines:

“Even if Rupert Murdoch emerged with a TV network (possible), or Kerry Packer acquired Fairfax (unlikely), does anyone really believe either of those enlarged groups would harness their television stations alongside their newspapers as serious political propaganda tools?”

Beecher seems to have changed his tune since but let’s not forget that he took a long while to reach the conclusion that proposed changes to media laws will benefit a select few.

If anybody talks about the proposed laws offering greater “diversity”, look them in the eye and tell them a few facts about how power works in Australia.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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