3 AM October 11, 2004

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will have control of the senate, and it’s likely that cross media ownership laws will be relaxed, if not completely repealed.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.

By alang | # | Comments (10)
(Posted to Rants)


At 05:38, 11 Oct 2004 Sean Malloy wrote:

For me the absolute most terrifying outcome of the liberal senate strange-hold was the possible dissolution of the cross-media ownership laws. I'm sure it will be a reality now. The sale of telstra isn't so much of an issue. I know how much of a disaster that will be. Its plainly obvious when your bush relos can't get a phone line... But it isn't so obvious when your metro relos are being subtley brainwashed by the Packer/Murdoch duopoly-to-be

We must be on the same wave length. I just subscribed to Crikey as well.

At 06:52, 11 Oct 2004 Chris wrote:


I'm not so sure about the likelihood of an easing of cross media ownership laws. I don't think media concentration is a comfortable concept, even for the Coalition.

I've taken Tony Abbott's advice and started praying for Tony Jones' soul. Oh wait, that's someone who's cross at the media.

At 08:29, 12 Oct 2004 Jed Wesley-Smith wrote:

but there isn't any cricket on Crickey!

At 11:03, 12 Oct 2004 Alan Green wrote:


You may be right, but opening up the media market place has been a long-term goal of the Libs, constantly frustrated by the senate. Add to that the Libs' much trumpeted ability to pragmatically trade any conservative economic or ethical principle for short-term gain, and I'd say it's a cert.

Let's all hope that your faith in the enlightened self interest of Coalition pollies is well placed.

At 11:10, 12 Oct 2004 Alan Green wrote:

Jed: at least Crikey might report events like blonde haired bowlers abusing women by mobile phone. The Packer empire's apt to go a bit quiet over things like that.

At 11:10, 12 Oct 2004 Alan Green wrote:

I am turning into a serious old codger, aren't I?

At 12:29, 17 Oct 2004 Stewart Johnson wrote:

I'm not sure that the Coalition having 39 seats in the Senate will make that much difference. Two reasons off the top of my head:

(1) If the Coalition rush off and start pushing stuff through the Senate that they've been denied in the last 4 years (sale of Telstra, cross-media ownership, industrial relations reforms, etc) then they'll damage their credibility in the eyes of the public. They're sitting pretty at the moment, and they'll want to hold on to the love they're getting from the constituency. They don't want to look like kids in a candy store, they want to be acting with dignity not hubris ("I am humbled.."). I think the IR reforms will go through the Senate soonish because most people don't understand it, but I wouldn't expect the full sale of Telstra before 2006 if it happens at all (you heard it here first..). Same goes for cross-media ownership.

(2) It's a *Coalition* majority in the Senate, not *Liberal*. Every Senator has the right the vote they want, and to make amendments to bills before they'll vote for them, so while it may be easier for the Coalition to get things through the Senate now, I don't think it'll be a walk in the park. Specifically in the case of the full sale of Telstra, there are quite a few National Senators (from the country) whose constiuents will be worried about the performance of Telstra in the bush. Don't expect the passing of bills through the Senate to be a formality.

Well, that's the way *I* see it anyway.. :)

At 07:53, 25 Apr 2005 wat wrote:

i think kerry packer is awesome so leave him alone

At 00:57, 05 May 2005 Alan Green wrote:

OK wat, just for you, I shall never again say anything negative about Kerry Packer. He is awesome.

Such a good fellow in fact, that we can trust Mr Packer to fully and openly disclose any and all problems with, say, his one day cricket business dealings. Yay! Yay!

At 03:12, 27 Sep 2005 Sean M wrote:

Hey Alan,

Your words have been resonating with me ever since you originally made this post last year.

After the events of the last few weeks (Telstra, Latham Diairies) I decided, Fudge it, I'm signing up.

Now I am the happy receiver of the Crikey newsletter, and it's gold every day.

Thanks, I don't think I would have done it if I hadn't read your post (Your words just nagged and nagged....... ;))


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