Every type of media, whether it be legacy or social, is owned by someone. A lot of people wouldn’t have a clue who owns The Sydney Morning Herald, or Twitter; and while most of you could name Zuckerberg as the owner of Facebook, you probably couldn’t care less if it was him or crazy Joe from the local 7eleven that owned it.
But should you care?
The people who own the media have a say in what its audience sees, hears and reads. When big media owners like Rupert Murdoch, Gina Rinehart, Kerry Stokes and James Packer own large percentages of legacy media their ideologies and views are being put out for large sums of people to see and potentially be influenced by their bias. An example of political bias in mainstream media is Rupert Murdoch’s articles opposing Julia Gillard in 2011. According to The Conversation, Murdoch met Abbot and took a liking to him, thereafter his newspapers campaigned strongly against Gillard, especially on the issues of asylum seekers and climate change (The Conversation, August 7, 2013).
In an interview with the Financial Review Julia Gillard expressed concern on media ownership, especially the power that Rupert Murdoch holds with such strong legacy media platforms, saying: “In many parts of Australia the readily available newspaper for people is a Murdoch paper… so that does matter that there are questions of quality and questions of bias that intersect with our politics.” (The Financial Review, John Kehoe, Oct 28 2014).
On one hand media ownership does matter in terms of what ideologies and opinions are being presented to the public. On the other hand, however, we have access to other means of research and ways of creating our own opinions. There is endless information and forums online designed to inform people and help us create our own opinions. I think as an audience it is up to us to decide what we let influence our opinions and beliefs, but when most the information that is being presented to us is based on one persons view then things can become skewed.