Media Manipulation

A demonstrator in a Rupert Murdoch mask protests outside the News International offices in east London

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Traditionally, media is meant to represent the news and facts, to inform us of what is happening in the world we live in. However, when the media is controlled by certain people, the truth can become warped depending on the person in power and their views and beliefs. The media in Australia is monopolised by a few key figures who ultimately decide what news is shared with the public. This in turn has resulted in the media holding back certain facts and not always being entirely honest or allowing their views portrayed in the media to become subjective. One of the main players in the media game is of course the infamous Rupert Murdoch.

News Corp, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, is responsible for 59% of the sales of Australian daily newspapers, selling 17.3 million papers a week meaning News Corp is Australia’s most influential newspaper publisher. Rupert Murdoch has the power to sway the opinions of the public in his favour. It seems ridiculous that one individual should be allowed to have so much control of what is distributed into different media outlets.

To what extent does the media lose its reliability and authenticity? Biased views most often come across in political matters or relevant issues at the time. During the first week of the 2013 election half of the 80 stories published by the Daily Telegraph were slanted against the Labor party whilst none opposed the Liberals . For example, the picture below shows a bus stop billboard featuring an image which suggests that Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd had more than a business relationship. Murdoch utilised his power to influence the public and enforce his own political beliefs, even if that meant feeing people false information.

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When media moguls are able to exploit their power the newspapers which we consider to be factual and honest can become unreliable and corrupted.

Having a certain group of people controlling the media results in a biased voice and unfair control of power. By having these people in charge of the content we receive we are forced to see and think what they want us to rather than always seeing the whole truth. Newspapers target their stories at particular political figures  or issues in an attempt to sway a reader’s decision. The lack of diversity in the media in contemporary Australia results in certain voices going unheard as the individuals who manipulate the media become more and more powerful and influential.

References:

The Conversation. 2013. FactCheck: does Murdoch own 70% of newspapers in Australia?. [online] Available at: https://theconversation.com/factcheck-does-murdoch-own-70-of-newspapers-in-australia-16812 [Accessed: 7 Apr 2014].

RTE.ie. 2013. Murdoch media accused of bias in election coverage. [online] Available at: http://www.rte.ie/news/2013/0827/470568-australia-election-murdoch/ [Accessed: 7 Apr 2014].

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9 thoughts on “Media Manipulation

  1. I would have to agree with you that the power to alter what is presented in any particular media text should not be given to any one individual. It isn’t fair that society can receive misleading or biased information. Hopefully the balance of left and right wing moguls can stay fairly even for some time to come before another solution is reached.

    well presented post, are there any moguls who are actually dead centre and unbiased?

    1. Very true! And yes, hopefully they’ll be balanced out so that we can still decided what we believe is true. Luckily for us, in this day and age, if we’re no longer able to rely on newspapers and networks we can usually quite easily find direct sources of information online.

      Thank you! And nope, I don’t think so, they’re all human after all and everyone has biased opinions. However, those in control just need to put aside their personal ideologies and look at issues objectively when presenting information to the public.

  2. You have raised some valid points about the control of the media and the influence that Rupert Murdoch has. I like how you have used a variety of sources not just one and lots of examples to explain your point of view. Well Done 🙂

  3. I agree with you 100%, I think one individual having so much power can be harmful to any society. The reason being that the more media power an individual has the more control they have on what is shown. Furthermore it allows them to put forward their own ideas on social issues which can alter peoples perceptions of the truth Such as Rupert Murdoch with this liberal political stand. I particularly enjoyed your example of the image depicting, Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd that demonstrates the lenghts at which murdoch with go just to inject his own political ideology into Australian society. A very interesting blog post!

  4. Hey Jarrah absolutely agree with this post and how ridiculous it is that Rupert Murdoch can retain an immense amount of power and have so much influence in Australia. However I don’t blame Rupert if I was him and had the money and the expertise that he does I would be doing the same thing but I do think that he should tone down the political bias.

    1. I suppose I can see where your coming from when you say you’d be on the same page as Murdoch. I guess I’d just like to think that I would be a decent enough person to set aside my differences and approach the news with an objective outlook. That having been said, we’re all human and we all have different beliefs and values.

      1. Yeah I know what you mean Rupert Murdoch isn’t a great model for the perfect citizen and I understand why you think that it is better to report the news not report your idea of the news.At the end of the day the news is meant to be informative and unbiased.

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