All the news that’s fit to print – Rupert & Gina’s way

Written By: - Date published: 12:23 pm, June 22nd, 2012 - 23 comments
Categories: blogs, broadcasting, internet, Media, newspapers, tv - Tags:

Major changes in the media in Oz will have their impact here – some already have. Fairfax’s mastheads the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age are going tabloid, cutting staff, and putting up paywalls on their websites. Gina Rinehart, the world’s richest woman has bought a 20% share, wants three seats on the board and editorial control to attack the Gillard government over the mining tax.

Rupert Murdoch’s News International, taking a bruising at the Leveson enquiry in Britain, wants to buy Foxtel and Fox sports from James Packer, who sees more money these days in casinos. The Australian, Murdoch’s masthead, has also been vitriolic in its pursuit of Gillard over the same mining tax.

Meanwhile the most respected institution in Australia is the ABC.  No-one would say that about Television New Zealand, our state-owned (for the time being) broadcaster. It  is shutting down Channel 7 and turning it into a shopping channel. Radio New Zealand probably would qualify for the most respected New Zealand media institution – no wonder the National Ministers appear on it so rarely.

Here too Murdoch already owns Sky which has a monopoly on pay TV, sport on television, and is facing an enquiry by the Commerce Commission into restraint of trade issues over on-line content. There’s no money in papers who have lost the classified income stream – the DomPost is as thin as the proverbial rake.

This rant from Paul Kelly, editor-at-large of the Australian, and chief Gillard-basher, was interesting:

Paul Kelly, editor-at-large for News Ltd’s The Australian, suggests Australia risks diminishing “the debate that is essential to save quality public policy in Australia”.

“It is not just politics that is being undermined by the tyranny of the digital age and the entrenchment of cheap, short-term populism,” he fulminated. The rise of citizen journalism and fragmented media ownership “also creates a crisis for the democratic state as it destroys the ability of leaders to build consensus for necessary reforms”.

To which one might simply say “get used to it”.

Interesting times ahead for all, including the Standard.

23 comments on “All the news that’s fit to print – Rupert & Gina’s way”

  1. Glg 1

    Again, to the defenders of asset sales, we are talking about a 20% shareholding (I thought it was 19%), and that Can lead to minority control. Be warned.

    • Chris 1.1

      There is a big difference though in that she will be the largest shareholder.

      Also can’t be bothered doing 2 comments but I agree with Fortran as soon as they start charging I will just stop reading it altogether.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        There is a big difference though in that she will be the largest shareholder.

        What exactly is the difference? She only holds 20%, how can she outvote everyone else?

        • Chris 1.1.1.1

          She doesn’t need to outvote everyone else? Voting has nothing to do with it. Her company has the most power as it owns the most of the company. She wouldn’t be able to do this if someone else owned 51%.

  2. If Fairfax start to charge for online viewing, I, who read SMH daily, will just foget it.
    I am not paying.
    In UK Murdoch charges so same again – do not bother anymore.

  3. Te Reo Putake 3

    The AMWU, the union for Fairfax workers, is scathing about both the lack on consultation around the job losses and the kneejerk abandonment of print, despite the still solid demand for newspapers in the community.
     
    The union correctly identifies that digital and print are media streams that are both important. Fairfax appears to have put all its eggs in the digital basket, which is a step further than Murdoch is prepared to go. At least for the time being.

  4. ghostwhowalksnz 4

    TVNZ 7 isnt becoming a shopping channel- it will be TV1 +1hr

    • sophie 4.1

      With ads?

      If it’s got them it’s a shopping channel.

      • Lanthanide 4.1.1

        You have a rather unusual definition of a “shopping channel”.

        • sophie 4.1.1.1

          shopping channel/commercially funded public broadcast channel – whatever you want to call it, they are still trying to make you buy crap you don’t need.

  5. Chris 5

    I thought that the inquiry into Sky’s online practices had already been done and it had found nothing wrong?

    • Oscar 5.1

      You might be thinking of this Sky and Igloo joint venture.

    • joe90 5.2

      Wrong inquiry dude.

      http://www.theverge.com/2012/3/26/2904197/news-corp-nds-funded-tv-hacking-piracy-thoic-allegations

      Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. empire may have been hacking more than just phones. Lee Gibling, former owner of hacking site The House of Ill Compute or THOIC, told BBC Panorama that he was paid by News Corp. company NDS to distribute pirated codes in order to bankrupt a rival to Sky TV. In the late 1990s, pay TV service ITV Digital — initially “On Digital” — was launched as a competitor to Murdoch’s Sky TV service. However, codes for ITV’s smart cards (which were used to authenticate users) quickly showed up on THOIC, allowing for widespread counterfeiting and helping to drive the fledgling company out of business. Now, Gibling says that ITV was no accidental target. Instead, NDS “delivered the actual software to be able to do this, with prior instructions that it should go to the widest possible community.”

  6. Matthew 6

    If Dirty old Gina can afford to buy a newspaper to attack a government over a tax, she can afford to pay the damn tax.

  7. Rich 7

    Paul Kelly, [sez] “Australia risks diminishing “the debate that is essential to save quality public policy in Australia [blah, blah, blah] It is not just politics that is being undermined by the tyranny of the digital age and the entrenchment of cheap, short-term populism,… The rise of citizen journalism and fragmented media ownership “also creates a crisis for the democratic state as it destroys the ability of leaders to build consensus for necessary reforms”

    I prefer his earlier stuff – rhymes and scans better:
    “…He came in on a Sunday, every muscle aching
    Walking in slow motion like he’d just been hit
    Did they have a future?
    Would he know his children?
    Could he make a picture and get them all to fit?…”

    or even:
    He was more than just a batsman
    He was something like a tide
    He was more than just one man
    He could take on any side
    They always came for Bradman ’cause fortune used to hide in the palm of his hand…

  8. Tom Gould 8

    “also creates a crisis for the democratic state as it destroys the ability of leaders to build consensus for necessary reforms”. Of course, Kelly is talking about himself here, and his mates. They are the “leaders” here, who claim the unfettered right to shape public policy in their own image. After all, they are rich and therefore correct.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      Yep, they’re not after democracy but dictatorship with them and their mates being the dictators.

  9. Blue 9

    “The rise of citizen journalism and fragmented media ownership “also creates a crisis for the democratic state as it destroys the ability of leaders to build consensus for necessary reforms”.”

    So he’s complaining that the major news organisations will no longer be able to brainwash the public?

  10. Murray Olsen 10

    The lovely Gina doesn’t want 20% because she wants an inormed readership. She wants it so she’ll have editorial control and cut down on her mining propaganda bill. Private institutional investors who want 49% of our power generation do not want it because they’ll be able to charge us less for power. They want it because they’re pretty sure whatever government appointed intellectual dwarfs the government appoints to directorships is likely to vote with them on almost everything. My bet is that they’ll have an effective 100% control.

    • tc 10.1

      They’ll have effective control as we have laws stating the interests of minority shareholders must be upheld, this is why they don’t need to sell over 50% to grant control to private interests.

  11. Murray Olsen 11

    Her father was a lovely guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMaRuk6pGOc

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