ABC Friends News

SENATE INQUIRY – Australia’s profound lack of media diversity

A Senate inquiry into media diversity in Australia is well underway, with two former prime ministers testifying along with many industry insiders.

The probe, which is being chaired by South Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, has heard some astounding — and alarming — evidence and saw News Limited senior mangers have had some fire applied to their feet.

According to Senator Hanson-Young:

To protect our democracy we need greater diversity of media ownership in Australia. The Senate inquiry into media diversity will analyse the impact that such a concentrated media has on our democracy and the publics ability to access independent and reliable sources of news.

Its been clear for some time that the business model for news media in the digital age is broken and this inquiry will investigate what the key barriers are for small, independent and new publishers in Australia.

Recently, half a million Australians signed a record-breaking petition calling for a Royal Commission into media diversity. The massive support for this petition showed just how concerned the Australia public is about the influence that media concentration has in our democracy.


Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd gave almost two hours of evidence. Here is a complete video of his contribution:


Former PM Malcolm Turnbull also testified:


This report, by Network Ten, is a good summary and includes a News Limited executive saying it was justified to give a voice to racism in his newspapers:

In this video, a former News Limited journalist explains how advertising impacts upon the treatment of news in Murdoch-owned publications:

The inquiry was overwhelmed with submissions, and initially had difficulty dealing with them all.

More than 600 individuals, groups, and organisations have contributed.


ABC Friends Victoria’s Ranald Macdonald — a former Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of The Age and journalism academic — made his own submission to the inquiry.

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