Election 2013 media panel

What should Rupert do?

Paul Sheehan’s assertion that Col ‘Pot’ Allan has returned to Australia to put an end to the Rudd government is probably true, but misses the point. I read The Australian. I subscribe to the app. It is without doubt the best press outlet in the country, reflecting the old man’s genuine love for quality journalism, and his readiness to invest in good journalists. It’s lively, and provocative, and it often challenges my comfortable assumptions.

But as with the Sunday Times in the UK, to which I also subscribe, I pay my hard earned dollars to Rupert in the full knowledge that he hates the left, the liberal, the humane, seeing all these as barriers to his global domination. In short, I discount the obvious bias of his titles, and so I imagine do the ALP at this point.

The present government presides over the best performing economy in the advanced capitalist world, and one wonders why Rupert Murdoch and his boot boys don’t get that. They appear to want to turn the country over to someone who has carefully avoided any scrutiny on policy and is, frankly, a highly risky proposition. The psychology of this bias is intriguing, and would reward further investigation someday.

Some say it’s about the NBN, and we know that is a big issue for News Corp. All over the world, and the UK in particular, News Corp media campaign against free access public service media because they know their existence impacts on News Corp’s dominance, and the Murdoch family’s personal wealth. Again, as readers of News titles in Australia, we discount that bias, seeing it for what it is. Private interests over public. He won’t win though, because both parties in this election offer a version of the NBN, and News Corp will have to live with it.

If he had any sense, Murdoch would embrace the NBN and see it as a vehicle for the quality content he says he wants to support. Not only that, he would embrace the more expensive ALP plan, which in ten years will look like a no-brainer. $43 billion for the NBN might sound like a lot of money, but in the great scheme of things, it’s money well spent on key infrastructure for Australia’s future. Australia can’t afford to be left behind in the Asian century, which will also be a digital century.

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