Welcome to a Murdochracy

 

Hear no, see no, speak no

“Murdochracy”. I have to admit that I didn’t come up with the word – it was mentioned on a 60 Minutes story back in 2011 – but I wish I did and I would probably be walking around campus with a lot of pride if I had.

An investigator on the story that detailed the now defunct News of the World phone hacking scandal – which saw not only celebrities and politicians targeted, but also murder and terrorism victims and their families – was largely due to Rupert Murdoch’s control over global media and how dismisses his role (even as a Chairman) in the whole event.

That criminal offence combined with a downplay of his part in the scandal  is exactly why it matters who owns and controls the media. It does matter who controls what we as a global society read, see or hear. It does matter how an individual conducts themselves when preparing news stories and it does matter how the information we are given has been gained in the first place.

Capture
Little bit of Murdoch-influenced propaganda. Excellent. – August 2013

 

For Rupert Murdoch, a man whose own political opinions and beliefs are known to make headlines in Australian newspapers, to say that he is not aware of wrongdoings such as the phone hacking scandal while they are happening is not only ludicrous but disrespectful to those effected. Simple. As. That.

 

However, despite his obvious influence over international media such as newspapers and television stations, he has one type of media he cannot control: social media.

Facebook is a huge multinational company that connects over a billion people worldwide. Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, is always posting on his own page about updates, initiatives and personal opinions and keeping up to date with user needs and desires.

Never before (on such a global scale at least) have we been able to direct message or comment with a powerful CEO such as Zuckerberg. From what used to be a complicated if not impossible system to contact someone in such power has now become something that can be done with a click of a button.

Unlike Murdoch who relies on viewers and people to buy his newspapers, Zuckerberg is literally in control over one billion people directly. Facebook has become such an unprecedented media platform – but just because it has popularity does not mean it is perfect or that Zuckerberg is an international treasure.

Media is ultimately a story of control. It started with newspapers, then television, and now the internet. Murdoch may have a large portion of control now, but as this generation and the next progresses, social media will completely destroy newspapers and new internet platforms will take its place.

And that will make all the difference in the world.

Image credit: http://theconversation.com/murdoch-and-his-influence-on-australian-political-life-16752

Read/View more:

http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2011/jul/06/phone-hacking-77-victims-fathers-horror

http://sixtyminutes.ninemsn.com.au/stories/8273213/bad-news

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2 thoughts on “Welcome to a Murdochracy

  1. Hey Larissa,

    What a clever blog post!
    It was great to see you use the News of the World scandal to show exactly why media ownership matters.

    I also like how you took the view that as time progresses, younger generations are taking more and more control of the media for themselves, and out of the hands of powerhouse media icons like Murdoch.

    That example makes me feel like we have a greater ability to choose what we see and really criticise what doesn’t live up to our expectations.

    It’s great that your post focuses on future implications of media control, instead of only what is happening now.

    Loved your blog!

    – Elly

    Like

  2. 1. Hey Larissa!
    First of all, I love your image here! Good find!
    I agree with your statements that are skeptical of Rupert Murdoch’s role in the event of the phone hacking scandal. I believe that the whole event occurred as a result of the amount of control one person has over such a large segment of the global media.
    I love how this post talked about both more traditional and modern forms of media e.g. newspapers and social media and evaluated their ability to survive throughout time. The exploration of the relationship Mark Zuckerberg has with Facebook users was very interesting.
    Good stuff! Lisa x

    Like

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