News or media has evolved over time. From the early beginnings of one person providing a public broadcast in the village square to written newspapers, radio and TV we have seen the influence of information stemming from various sources. In our world today information and news is with us 24/7 and is easily accessible from the palm of our hands.
With all of this information, who do we trust, who do we believe, where do we turn to avoid fake news?
In Australia media ownership is dominated by various corporations or individuals. Ownership is governed by the Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) to ensure a monopoly does not exist within a state or across the nation. In essence “a person must not control television broadcasting licences whose combined licence area exceeds 75 per cent of the population of Australia, or more than one licence within a licence area.” (Aph.gov.au, 2019)
Does media ownership matter? Have you considered the influence that different news media have on society. Depending on what type of media is producing the content will influence what you think about the world.
Take for instance American news. When Donald Trump holds a press conference Fox News will showcase all of the positive things Trump is saying and supporting his views whilst from the very same interview CNN will take every opportunity to discredit him. This is a prime example of how news and information can influence us. In this instance, depending which network you listen to will determine your perception of Trump.
The Australian media also has its biases. For instance, John Singleton, is the owner of Macquarie Media Ltd who owns radio station 2GB. John Singleton is a Liberal party supporter and has recruited radio hosts who also support the Liberal party. As a result the radio station has a positive bias towards the Liberal government and no better example of this than the recent NSW State Elections where the radio station took every opportunity to bring out the negatives of the Labour campaign.
We are constantly influenced by the information and news that surrounds us from what we listen to and what we watch. Given these influences I take a balanced approach to the news I hear rather than believing the information completely as reported.
The power of the media can be great. Freedom of speech is important. However, abusing freedom of speech to get news out quickly that may be incorrect or deliberately fake is an injustice that should never be tolerated.
Should we instantly we believe everything we hear?
Aph.gov.au. (2019). Media Ownership Regulation in Australia – Parliament of Australia. [online] Available at: https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/Publications_Archive/archive/mediaregulation [Accessed 10 Apr. 2019].
Acma.gov.au. (2019). ‘Media Interests’ snapshot | ACMA. [online] Available at: https://www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/media-interests-snapshot [Accessed 10 Apr. 2019].