What Australian politicians must ask media heads and not just Murdoch

We’re learning more and more about the culture of entitlement, arrogance and denial within the Murdoch empire.

Here in Australia, there are growing calls for a parliamentary inquiry into the power of the media and lack of regulation. New Matilda has a few ideas and I was asked for mine:

A parliamentary inquiry into the Australian media scene is essential, and not just to examine the monopolistic practices of News Ltd. Every boss of every major media company should appear and be asked about the cosy, insular club that exists between the political and media elites. Understanding these relationships can only enhance our… democracy.Some… questions:

– How often do media editors and bosses meet with political leaders. When, where, what is discussed… etc?

– As Eric Ellis states in the current issue of the Spectator Australia, Fairfax bosses allegedly spiked a feature in the Good Weekend many years ago of Wendi Deng (aka Mrs. Rupert Murdoch). Understanding that supposedly rival media companies aim to protect the other’s business interests, how often do you meet bosses of other companies and in what context? Have you ever spiked stories? And if so, for what… purposes?

– How many journalists take free trips to America, Israel or other countries and always acknowledge this in their published work? What does such visits do to journalistic integrity? Should third parties be allowed to subsidise trips to domestic or international… destinations?

– How should journalists and politicians relate to each other? Should private dinners or events attended by journalists and politicians be disclosed to readers if they directly relate to a story and could give the impression of influencing the… story?

– Should there be limits on the amount of media any one company should be allowed to own? And should any one family or corporation, such as the Murdochs, be subject to investigation into potential conflicts of interests when owning media companies, casinos or other relevant… assets?

– Should Australian defamation laws be tightened or weakened to allow greater accountability of what is published in the… daily… media?