Starting from July 1, 2005, the Liberals will have control of the senate, and it’s likely that cross media ownership laws will be relaxed, if not completely repealed. Currently, those laws are the only thing stopping Kerry Packer buying the old Fairfax empire.
I am expecting most of Australian television and print media to be owned by Kerry Packer and Rupert Murdoch by the end of 2007. Both Packer and Murdoch have a conflict of interest when it comes to reporting the news, in that with such large businesses, the news often reflects poorly on them, and so it gets censored.
Check out the Limited News site for a glimpse of how the Murdoch empire controls its newspapers for it’s own benefit. Don’t expect any better from Packer.
I also expect to see the government reign in the ABC‘s news departments, shrinking them agin and also demanding more favourable coverage under threat of disbandment.
So today I subscribed to Crikey, not because their news is brilliant, but because they are independent. I hope Crikey will be the first of a number of independent news bureaux running with low overheads and quality reporters.