‘The Media Magnate.’
What did you visualise?
Let me guess –
Typically an aged man, wealthy and of high stature who holds strong religious and ideological belief systems, devilishly scheming how to next manipulate multiple platforms to achieve a desired personal or political outcome.
Untrustworthy, cynical, deceiving, de-humanised with disregard to the law.
Am I right, or am I right?
How do you feel about this individual holding supreme power?
Well, welcome to your world.
Living in an age where media consumption occurs at a prolific rate, the influence and power attained by the concentrated regulators of sources is incomprehensible. The changing dynamic of commercial media internationally, has seen the values of freedom of press struggle. This degradation of said value has seen wealthy and affluent moguls monopolise the industry, restricting the presentation of various ideological perspectives or alternative stories. The media can be a tool for bias, seen historically with the use of propaganda in gaining support for various wars, political movements, etc. Citizen Kane, a film developed by ‘Boy Genius’ Orson Wells, mirroring the life of Media Mogul William Randolph Hearst, highlights the power of said individuals, stating:
Emily: ‘Really Charles, people will think…’
Charles (Kane): ‘…what I tell them to think.’
The modern equivalent of Hearst is Rupert Murdoch, who owns various international news sources. Much alike Kane, Murdoch’s early interviews highlight his vow of promoting press freedom and highlighting the importance of multiple operators and opinions being distributed with commercial media. Murdoch, alike Kane, does not adhere to these policies, through the monopolisation of multiple sources and the values practices within his empire, including the unified matters of public policy, the global editorial policy and constant attacks upon left-wing groups.
In association with the Australian Communications and Media Authority, other mechanisms must be put in place to ensure media perspective stay as transparent as possible. To ensure influence and bias is minimised within society, government funded run and held media sources such as the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) and SBS (Special Broadcasting Service) are vital to the distribution of news information from a differing perspective. Government funded media networks are inalienable, as they do not only present differing interpretations, but also keep mogul run platforms accountable by publicly shedding light on work and methodologies. Media Watch is an example of media naming and shaming, where content is analysed and commented on upon the ABC network. Media Watch is a particularly interesting resource, as it does not adhere to traditional media hierarchies where information is disseminated to the viewer passively, instead the viewer is actively engaged through their ability of highlighting issues with journalism to Media Watch directly. These accountability resources help with transparency of work and those concentrated few with power honest.
Indeed, it does matter who controls our media, as in turn they have influence over the individuals perspective, ideologies and what information is accessible or withheld to the public. Ensuring freedom of press is vital, as differing interpretations and a variety of stories will ensure the public stays engaged and informed to the world impartially
Media Watch (ABC Network): http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/
Original Citizen Kane Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXIr1P9Fm5A
Citizen Kane ‘Rosebud’ Scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3hfQ2IOc8s