So is Murdoch the problem? No, he’s not, despite what some on the left say. What we see today is a swirl of coalescing media across platforms such as newspaper, radio, TV, internet and subscription channels.
That change is underway no matter what we want and whether we like it or not, and it’s due to external factors, the internet and government. The weakness in media right now is due to three factors.
The first is the internet – specifically Google and Facebook. The second is government regulation– and that regulation, as in all regulation, reduces the quantity of the service or product, reduces the quality of media and raises the cost of media. These regulations weaken institutions.
These regulations have created a monster. The third one is that monster: the ABC. Let’s go to Google and Facebook. They’re revolutionising media and communication, and the internet is placing the market power of choice in the hands of all people.
I listened to a commonwealth car driver a few months ago who worked in the Kimberley in the 1980s when, he told me, they had one ABC channel and one ABC radio channel. Now, he says happily, they have a huge range of media and entertainment from around the world.
These choices are destroying conventional newspaper companies, especially the biased ones such as Fairfax and the Guardian, who are both collapsing as customers wake up to their poor service that reflects the papers’ bias and dishonesty.