Earlier today, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd launched a petition calling for a Royal Commission into the “abuse of media monopoly in Australia” and focussing specifically on Rupert Murdoch’s media empire– News Corp.
In a video release, Rudd explains the petition also aims to make recommendations “for media diversity ownership for the future lifeblood of our democratic system.”
Australians have watched with growing anger at what the Murdoch media monopoly is doing to our country. A cancer on democracy.— Kevin Rudd (@MrKRudd) October 9, 2020
Today I am launching a national petition to establish a #MurdochRoyalCommission.
If you value our democracy, please sign here: https://t.co/FjfK7ij7YQ pic.twitter.com/gIGfmMF49W
The former PM also makes his feelings known about Murdoch’s media concentration in the video: “Murdoch has become a cancer, an arrogant cancer, on our democracy,” he said. “Number one, it’s the sheer concentration of Murdoch’s media ownership — 70% of our print media is owned by Murdoch.
“In my state of Queensland, which swings so many federal election outcomes, Murdoch owns virtually each and every one of the newspapers up here. Number two, over the last decade, in 18 out of the last 18 federal and state elections, Murdoch has viciously campaigned in support of one side of politics, the Liberal National Party.”
The petition began circulating so quickly that traffic volumes to the website appeared to have crashed the system. On his Facebook page, Rudd addressed this issue with followers keen to sign the petition: “So many thousands have tried to sign that it’s apparently triggered the Parliament’s cyber defences. So please be patient and don’t give up. We’ve been on to the House of Representatives to fix it.”
Murdoch’s News Corp owns vast media assets including national publications The Australian, Victoria’s Herald Sun, The Daily Telegraph, Queensland’s The Courier Mail, Sky News, Foxtel and many lifestyle magazine titles including Vogue and GQ to name a few.
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Cover image of Former Australian PM and Asia Society Policy Institute President Kevin Rudd. Photo: Ellen Wallop/Asia Society.