News media concentration

The recent petition started by Kevin Rudd into news media concentration ended up with a total of 501,876 signatures. The petition was titled, “Petition EN1938 – Royal Commission to ensure a strong, diverse Australian news media”. You can view the completed petition information on the Government webpage here:

To stay up to date with what Kevin Rudd is doing with the RC idea, you can subscribe to his updates HERE.

What did Scott Morrison & the Liberals do next?

Scott Morrison #MurdochRoyalCommission

The petition closed at 11:59PM AEST on 4 November 2020.

Instead of doing something constructive to reduce news media concentration in Australia, the Liberals went in the exact opposite direction.

Long story short, Scott Morrison put through a Bill forcing Google & Facebook to handover millions of dollars each year to Murdoch, Stokes & the other big media news media players.

The Bill: Treasury Laws Amendment (News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code) Bill 2021

Date finally passed both houses of parliament: 25 February 2021

From Michael West: 

16 December 2020, Google and Facebook draft laws – yes, a tawdry government mates deal for News and Nine”.

The legislation introduced into Parliament this week is designed to force Google and Facebook to share some of their online advertising revenue with Australian media companies.

22 January 2021, “Internet’s founder, US Officials slap down News and Nine’s crusade on Google”:

Not only is there no business case for the changes – apart from a gift to decaying mainstream media businesses – but US trade officials have slammed the bargaining code as possibly contrary to the US Australian Free Trade Agreement, and the man who started it all, claims the regulation is contrary to the very idea of the Internet.

3 June 2021, “Protection Racket: Digital Media Code a farce as Google and Facebook not “designated”:

In June last year, Nine boss Hugh Marks declared that a deal with Google and Facebook would be worth about $600 million for old media. News Corp Australia’s chairman Michael Miller reckoned it was more like $1 billion.

More from Kevin Rudd:

More from Friendlyjordies:

What should we do next?

Royal Commissions take time.

There are no guarantees a future Government would act on any recommendation from a Royal Commission. For example, the recent Banking Royal Commission resulted in the Liberals attempting to remove the responsible lending laws, even thought this went against the very first recommendation by Kenneth Hayne.

An unsuitable home loan = you can’t afford to pay your electricity bill.


A quicker way to reduce the news media ownership concentration level is to put through a Bill which: limits individual ownership of news media businesses to say:

-limit individual ownership of news media businesses to less than 5% with twelve months for individuals over this limi to divest (or more if not sufficient for Aus to be in lowest 5 countries for media concentration)

-remove ability of foreign citizens to have ownership of Australian news media

For example:

Abolish news media ownership concentration