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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

here's a thought « Previous | |Next »
August 21, 2003

I thought Adelaide, like Brisbane or Perth, was in pretty poor shape because it was a one newspaper town. Adelaide only had the Murdoch-owned Advertiser, which most people treat with contempt. It's a tabloid rag. We all hope that something different can develop to challenge it and introduce some different ideas and views about what is going one. I guess people listen to the radio in Adelaide.

On an historical note. Murdoch started in Adelaide with a tabloid called The News-- now long gone. Today the whole of Australia is small fry in a global News Corp that seems to get bigger and bigger.

So I looked in envy at the two newspaper towns of Melbourne ( The Age and Herald Sun) and Sydney (Sydney Morning Herald and Daily Telegraph). They meant media diversity. And the war between Fairfax and the Murdoch News Ltd meant competition and a diversity of views on public issues.

Then I thought. Newspapers are not big growth businesses in terms of the communications industry. That is television. What if Adelaide is actually Melbourne or Sydney's future? They too could be on their way to becoming one newspaper towns.

The Age is the weak link in the Fairfax chain, and from what I can gather from reading the media News Corp has launched an attack on Fairfax in Melbourne. It's the first front in the war so to speak. Fairfax is surrounded. Media analysts say that The Age is in danger of losing critical mass. When I reading The Age online I notice that it is beginning to increasingly look like a clone of the flagship Sydney Morning Herald. What comes through from The Bulletin on the media is just how News Corp dominates the Australian newspaper scene.

Hence the powerful political weight that News Corp has. So it increasingly looks as if the one newspaper standing in Melbourne and Sydney will be a Murdoch owned one. If a global News Corp would then have been a monopoly in these towns, then that means the end of the liberal print media as we have to know it. You can feel the ground shift under your feet.

That was my thought.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 4:54 PM | | Comments (1)


Rose writes:

"We can argue whether she just burst a boil or fed a cancer."

The body politic as a sick body. An apt diagnossis.

This imagery misses the critical edge of populism vis-a-vis the negative impact of globalization on Australia in the 1980s and the 1990s.

The critical edge was the challenge issue to the political establishment and a centralized liberalism that imposed reform on an unwilling citizenry.

It is a populism that highlighted the democratic deficit.But it had little by the way of a medicine for the sickness other than getting rid of the bastards.

The populist challenge was seen off by Howard through incorporation but the democratic deficit remains.