Rupert Murdoch owns some 70% of Australia’s print media. And a fair bit in the UK too.

As the hacking scandal unfolded in the UK, there were calls here – from the government most notably – for a bit more accountability from one of our more infamous exports and the papers he owns.

Why? Because it had become abundantly clear that at least one of Murdoch’s papers in the UK were involved in industrial scale criminality which sent shudders up and down the spines of all those who see News Limited as the evil empire.


Rupert Murdoch at the Leveson Inquiry. Image via ITV.

As the ...

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  • Reply December 3, 2012


    I think Finkelsteins report needs to be adopted, we are not well served by our current newspapers and radio and TV.

    An example is the events that occurred in Parliament on 29 th November. When we compare the press coverage of the Abbott vs the Prime Minister stoush in Question Time against the absolute lack of reporting or analysis on the bills passed for NDIS, changes to Medicare for Dental Funding, Murray Darling Basin.

    Despite it’s breathless reporting of the Prime Minister’s alleged perfidy there has been no scrutiny of the accusers slush funds and spouse’s illegal behaviour unless we read blogs.

    What else are we not hearing about?

  • Reply December 3, 2012


    We are at the end of our tether with the current main stream media. Implement the Finkelstein findings as soon as possible please.

  • Reply December 3, 2012

    jonah stiffhausen

    One again we have the example of women being unable to understand the implications of statism. If you hobble the press, you deserve and will get tyranny. Might be time for you girls with too much time on your hands, to bone up on your Thomas Jefferson for starters.
    If you find the press/media offensive, ignore it. Pretty simple really.

  • Reply December 3, 2012

    Caroline B

    Great article Monica! I note that the Murdoch press has already flagged that it will fight the Finkelstein recommendations tooth & nail & has already started a fear campaign about ‘govt intervention’ in ‘freedom of the press’ & our ‘Right To Know.’

    I’m all for serious investigative reporting that roots out & exposes serious corruption etc – I’d consider this to be IN the public interest – a public good & an essential component of quality journalism.

    But accessing private phone messages & using those to publish a story on a celebrity’s fight with his girlfriend etc may well be OF public interest & help sell papers/ get clicks, but it’s clearly unethical, no business of mine or anyone else’s.

    Do I have a Right To Know about political corruption? Yes. Do I have a right to read a transcript of a voice mail of a celebrity who hasn’t broken the law, or to see pictures of them topless on private property taken from someone snooping on them 2km away? No.

    Yes, there’s an in-between (say a politician campaigning on being an upright family man having an affair on the side) & I suppose that’s where it gets tricky but with press freedom comes responsibility & accountability.

    In the digital era, it no longer makes sense to separate print & broadcast – media ethics are broadly same across all platforms. Finkelsteins’ recommendations to bring it all under a single statutory body & give it some teeth seem pretty sensible to me.

    I’d say bring it on & while there may be a need for fine-tuning after implementation, definitely the direction we need to be going.

  • Reply December 3, 2012


    Well written Monica!!
    Loved you on Media watch then and love you here on the Hoopla.
    I reckon that all thinking people here in Australia are battling with the lack of credibility of the MSM and the concentration of media ownership in this country.
    For those who may be interested the blog site Cafe Whispers has just had this topic of conversation running now for ages.
    We need to have a body of control that has some teeth, that is independent and can carry some weight.

  • Reply December 3, 2012


    Great article Monica and agree with the comments above. So over the current media facade that somehow manages to pass as ‘news’ , are you listening too Canberra press gallery?
    Bring it on indeed, it is hard to imagine an ‘independent’ body and moreso where the funds would come from outside someone who didn’t wish for an agenda filled, but we desperately need it. Independent blogs like cafe whispers (thanks Sandra, I’ll be reading more there) are insightful, but hard to find, although I do find more good info and diversity of views than in MSM, that is for sure.

  • Reply December 3, 2012

    jonah stiffhausen

    Bring on government regulation of the press? You people are barking mad.

    • Reply December 3, 2012



  • Reply December 3, 2012


    The non reporting of the “accusers” claim to be of Superior Character received no coverage in the frenzy to defame the PM.

    Tony Abbott who preaches Virginity to women never held himself to such a standard , his 19 yr old girlfriend gave birth to a son which Abbott believed to be his , it seems that he took no responsibility for this son when the relationship ended. ( 20 yrs + later it was found that the child was not his).

    Then there is Barbara Ramjan who had his fist punch the wall either side of her head when she had the gall to defeat him in university union elections . While he did not hit her, this is a crimal act called I believe Common Law Assault.

    He also set up a slush fund whose purpose was to get One Nation . This resulted in a political opponent being sent to jail on trumped up charges. He then lied about monies he paid to a certain person involved in this sham. He LIED in a famous interview by Kerry O’Brien on ABC Television but more importantly he LIED to the Australian Electoral Commission re this fund.
    This is a crime under Australian Law.

    Since being defeated by Julia Gillard at the last election he seems to be seething with anger and
    seems desperate to not just defeat her at the next election but to demean her in any way possible . The latest to smear and accuse her of criminal behavior but with no proof.

    Does he only target women????

    With his past record how can he arrogantly claim
    Superior Character?????

    Why weren’t these things raised in MSM
    if there is supposed to be fairness in reporting?????

    Does anyone still trust the MSM??????

    • Reply December 3, 2012

      anne louise

      Not me.

  • Reply December 3, 2012


    Thanks Monica. What is MSM? Acronyms annoy me! Surely the issue is not freedom v.regulation. Our freedoms are already regulated and limited by the rule of law eg defamation,vilification etc….in the field of freedom of expression.


  • Reply December 3, 2012


    I like Tony Windsor’s comment re the Australian that his family still uses sorbent. I have so many examples of rubbish that is reported by the so called media, where to start.. The local ABC radio station has often stated that there is a problem with the internet because the same rigorous rules that the ABC has to abide by aren’t applied to the internet . The ABC news headlines [first at 6 am on news24] stated that AWU slush funds were used to purchase a house that the PM lived in, not so, she may have had sleep overs but didn’t live there. No one corrected this, even though a reporter lost his job previously over this claim, this is just one small example of the checking and re checking that our local ABC assures us that they have to do to make sure of the facts. What rubbish words and context are so important but our media have scant regard for facts or the truth.

  • Reply December 3, 2012


    ….About toilet paper~ I don’t like it perfumed~ I go for the hypoallergenic stuff,and I will not be using any newspaper if the supermarket runs out….stock up….

    As I understand it, very few complaints have been upheld by the Press Council in Australia? Does anyone one know percentages?

    There is also a strange bridge to cross about journalists protecting their sources, which as I understand it,is not protected by all Australian states in court proceedings~but is journalist code~and the lack of effective regulation of the Press etc.. around protecting peoples’ privacy when there is no “public interest” element?

  • Reply December 3, 2012

    Wendy Green

    I would simply like to see the collective media report on legitimate news stories not gossipy hearsay that has no basis in fact. When I watch the news I want to see THE NEWS not insult slinging and false accusations! I stopped buying newspapers years ago when I couldn’t find any decent reporting therein.

  • Reply December 3, 2012


    “anyone one” ?! Whoops. So much easier to spot other peoples’ errors than my own…..

  • Reply December 3, 2012


    I too stopped buying newspapers years ago for similar reasons to Wendy.
    The Media stranglehold of Murdoch has destroyed everything. TV News is a joke.
    Celebrity commentators mostly have a Sydney right wing view of everything. Even Michelle Grattan ( who’s opinion I used to respect), felt the need about 6 months ago to join the mindless sheep and claim that Labor can’t win.
    She should have held her tongue a bit longer.

    Ro Watson. ….MSM …Main Stream Media.

  • Reply December 3, 2012


    Have also become more and more disenchanted with the ABC . Tony Jones ….Bleh!!!!!

    Bring back Kerry O’Brien , best interviewer of all if you wanted to get to the truth.

  • Reply December 3, 2012


    Thanks Carole. Acronyms are “a form of social control”(Stanley Cohen). I still imagine there is some significant diversity among journalists’ contributions to mainstream media,even if the front page roars one way or another… I buy weekend paper for what is on telly,and arts guide. I no longer buy the Weekend Australian because there is no longer a Victoria Roberts’ cartoon.

  • Reply December 3, 2012

    jonah stiffhausen

    Here is the news, post Leveson, if you blockheads get your way.

  • Reply December 4, 2012

    Tony W

    “Rupert Murdoch owns some 70% of Australia’s print media.”

    It seems to me that any political bias in Murdoch print media here is locally generated. In the case of The Australian for example, co-founder Rodney Lever recently described it as having become “the idiotic plaything of rogue amateur journalism and an owner who rarely reads it and does nothing to change it.”

    I supect that applies to all Murdoch papers, they’ve simply fallen into the hands of hack journalists like those at The Australian, who in Lever’s words have “shredded the once proud standards of Australian journalism.”

    Personally I doubt whether Finkelstein or Leveson hold the answer to lousy journalism. What’s needed here IMO is to break up Murdoch’s near monopoly to allow more competition. I believe that would find much more favour amongst the public than increased regulation.

    Unfortunately at present we’re heading in the opposite direction, ie. wholesale sacking of journalists and everything syndicated nationally. That can only lead to further deterioration in journalistic standards, and further concentration of the power of the Fourth Estate. I wouldn’t expect too many news items on police corruption, there’ll be no decent investigative journalists to uncover it, and any flatfoots that do happen to stumble upon it will soon be in league with the Filth themselves – as per UK experience.

  • Reply December 4, 2012

    Miranda Muer

    Rupert Orwell’s Rules of Publication

    1.Whatever goes upon two legs and criticises my papers is an enemy and shall be gagged.
    2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend as they have no course for reply.
    3. No animal shall wear clothes and criticise my newspapers.
    4.No animal shall sleep in a bed unless reading my newspapers.
    5. No animal shall preside over the News Media Council (ie.Press Council in disguise) without first taking the oath in favour of my newspapers.
    6.No animal shall kill any other animal unless it shall not be reported in my newspapers.
    7. All animals are equal except me. I am Gog. And i rule. and…….i’m lonely up here. and is there anyone left i can trust?…….and why…..why does everyone hate me?

  • Reply December 4, 2012

    monica attard

    Very funny Miranda.

  • Reply December 4, 2012


    Good news. Barbara Ramjan ( the woman who Abbotts fist flew past before hitting the wall), is sueing The Australian and Old Liberal Party Hack, Michael Kroger for calling or inferring that she is a liar. Her husband is an ex judge and now big time NSW Lawyer. Should be interesting .

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