The majority finding by a British Parliamentary committee that media kingpin Rupert Murdoch is unfit to run an international company reinforces the need to reform Australia's media ownership laws, the Australian Greens said today.
The Greens communications spokesperson, Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, said the long-running phone hacking scandal engulfing the Murdoch empire bolstered the Convergence review finding that the concentration of media ownership in Australia is harmful.
"Concentration of media ownership is the concentration of power. The more power in the hands of a tiny group of people, the more likely you will see the arrogant abuse of that power, as has been made abundantly clear by the findings of the investigation in the United Kingdom."
"Eleven of Australia's twelve capital city daily papers are owned by either Mr Murdoch's News Ltd, or by Fairfax Media, and the remaining capital city daily is effectively owned by Channel Seven. Overall, News Ltd owns 70 per cent of the newspapers in this country. Mining magnate Gina Rinehart holds almost 14 per cent of Fairfax and a 10 per cent stake in Channel Ten. It stands to reason that the concentration of media ownership in this country has gone too far."
"Westminster has awoken from decades of running scared from the Murdoch press. The Convergence Review gives us an opportunity to re-open this debate in Australia, in the interests of a free and diverse media."