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Preview: Comments on Peter Martin: Tuesday column: Can media proprietors such as Rupe...

Comments on Peter Martin: Tuesday column: Can media proprietors such as Rupert Murdoch swing elections?

Updated: 2015-09-30T08:04:03.541+10:00


Yes, the research you cite is good, but the best p...


Yes, the research you cite is good, but the best proof is when you get the participants themselves to admit the effect. The two best recent articles on that was Howard's most trusted adviser admitting to Rupert's political power, and Branson confirming it.The following are snippets only from those articles, showing just the relevant parts to the current discussion (to meet copyright rules).Crosby on the power of Rupert Murdoch - Crikey - 12 October 2005Howard's trusted advisor has shed some interesting light on the political power of the mogulsIf John Howard wants some first-hand information about the political power of media moguls as he considers whether to abolish the cross-media laws, he should ask his trusted Liberal Party advisor Lynton Crosby.... Crosby, who advised the British Conservatives during the recent UK election, talked about Rupert Murdoch's role in the re-election of Tony Blair's Labour government.According to Crosby, Murdoch's mass-circulation Sun had been very supportive of the issues raised by the Tories... Crosby said he knew things were going well when a Becky or a Sally or Sarah or a Jane, semi-naked and in a G-string on page three of The Sun, said in an accompanying thought bubble: “I think Michael Howard has a point… about immigration” or "Yes, we do need tax reform."Unfortunately for the Tories, it didn't last. " I could see the campaign shift as these little bubble comments of the page three girls shifted during the campaign," Crosby said.Towards the end of the campaign we had the likes of Mandy declaring that "Gordon Brown was good on the economy."...Yes, the same Rupert Murdoch who controls the biggest slice of Australia's daily newspapers, and the same Rupert Murdoch who would be able to get even bigger and more powerful if the government abolishes the cross-media rules in Australia.______________________________________Branson calls for break-up of News - SMH 23 November 2006 - Reprint from The Telegraph, Londonby Alistair Osborne in LondonRICHARD BRANSON, founder of the Virgin group, has called for an all-party review of Rupert Murdoch's media empire, claiming it should be broken up to preserve democracy in Britain.... Sir Richard said: "All of us know governments are scared stiff of Murdoch. If The Sun, The Sunday Times, The Times, Sky, the News of the World - just to name a few of the things that Murdoch owns - all come out in favour of a particular political party, the election is likely to be won by that particular party."If you tag on ITV to that as well, basically we've got rid of democracy in this country and we might as well just let Murdoch decide who is going to be our prime minister."He said Mr Murdoch had given an insight into his power in a recent interview when he was quoted saying that, when he visits England, Gordon Brown and Tony Blair compete to have breakfast with him."Why are they competing to have breakfast with this person? Because he has such influence."...Sir Richard said: "Murdoch is a very good businessman. He's played a very good card and it's up to government to decide whether he can get away with it or not."There comes a time when governments have got to draw a line in the sand. Every single time the Murdoch empire makes a move on more and more of the British media, governments don't have the courage to stand up to them."With an election looming, all parties should put up a united front, he said. "It should be an all-party situation where nobody tries to score any political advantage. Labour, Tories, Liberals, should all stand as one and say enough's enough..."News Corporation declined to comment.______________________________________I think Sir Richard and Lynton gave an accurate picture and should be taken at their word. Howard's loosening of the cross-media laws has taken Australia one step closer to the problems of the UK, where media barons really are 'king makers' politically.Graeme Harrison (email: prof at-symbol[...]

Dear Inadvertant,Thanks. I am very interested to ...


Dear Inadvertant,

Thanks. I am very interested to hear all this. Very interested.

As my father once asked me (with sadness) about the Advertiser: "What have we done to deserve it?"


Murdoch mighn't have a free to air television stat...


Murdoch mighn't have a free to air television station (yet) but he does own the only daily newspaper in Adelaide - the absurdly named "Advertiser". It pretty much telegraphs to all and sundry what it's really about "Bugger the news, lets sell ads!" However, the reality is that this rag set's the daily news agenda for Adelaide radio and TV stations each day. Even Tom Richardson, the State Political Reporter for the only newspaper competition in town, "The Independent Weekly", draws upon The Advertiser stories, survey results and his own experiences as an Advertiser journo to fill his column!

If you don't think the Murdoch press can influence people's perceptions then just ask Iain Evans the recently deposed Oppostion leader who was tagged by the Advertiser as "Mr Who" following their "own" commissioned survey which purportedly showed that 8 out of 10 people couldn't recall his name 8 months into the job.

"We dubbed him Mr Who then and little has changed today.

For the good of South Australia, he has to go. Now.",22606,21481653-5006336,00.html

12 days later he was gone!

So how do they get away with it? Well, it helps if the Editor and his chief of staff are well connected to the Labor Party.

As Tom Richardson explained in a recent insight, Media Mike Rann, provides the day's key media releases to the Advertiser Editor Melvin Mansell (Rann's old Uni mate) before all the other news services get a sniff. By the way, the Advertiser's Chief of Staff is married to newly elected Labor MP Grace Portolessi.

Of course, that's no reason to support Labor over Liberal. As you indicated Murdoch often hangs on to whomever is rising fastest once the tide of public opinion comes in. But who forms the opinions? Stereotyped as "Mr Who" and some unflattering pictures of a frustrated Evans reinforce time and again the perception that he's struggling.

Meanwhile, the fact that the State Budget was put on hold for 5 months, because the Transport Minister had more than $500 million in cost blowouts and with unsexy stories about the impending Workcover liability growing towards $1 billion dollars just don't cut through the Adelaide Festival Silly season - Clipsal Womadelaide, The Fringe and The Cup Carnival disguised the true state of uncertainty.

And how's this one: Mike Rann in Parliament claimed that the BHP Billiton Olympic Dam site would create 23,000 "new" jobs! Gee that's a lot of jobs. Prior to the election he used that figure constantly and the Advertiser ran with it in feature articles in the week's leading up to the Election. But it was wrong. There hadn't been any Study conducted to that date other than by previous mine owners WMC in July 2005. That report found that there would indeed be an increase in indirect and direct jobs from the current figure of 6400 to around 14500 (an increase of about 8000 or so. Rann's people couldn't add up!!! They put the increase 8000 to the projected total of 14500 and got 23,000! Did the Advertiser journos doing their research pick this up? No of course not. The latest report on estimated demand for labour in the SA mining sector, produced by the South Australian Centre for Economic Studies, predicts a total increase in direct and indirect jobs across the "entire state" due to mining of 17,200 out to the year 2014!

This report was commissioned by the Rann Government. Did the Advertiser notice the significant difference in numbers? No. Just last weekend their regional reporter quoted 23,000 new jobs as "fact" when commenting on the development of Roxby Downs.

Too bad if you're an investor, or business person in Roxby hoping to gear up for the expected growth.
People aren't interested in non sexy news - Give them they want - Advertising!

Sorry for the length but of this spray but if there's one thing that get's me going it's the lack of balance in the media.


Don't know. But whenever you are in Canberra chec...


Don't know. But whenever you are in Canberra check out "Its Time" and Turn on the Lights" at the National Film and Sound Archive.

My favourite is the Labor's 1984 anthem probably penned by John Singleton: "Lets stick together, let's see it through" with the imortal line "nobody ever got anywhere changing horses in mid-stream". Brilliant.

Hey Peter, a bit off topic, but do you know where ...


Hey Peter, a bit off topic, but do you know where you can find old Australian Political ads online?

I reckon there should be an online archive, and if there isn't one currently, it would be great to put one up. Its very interesting history.