chance3_monopoly_www-txt2pic-comYou roll the dice and advance forward six spaces. One, two, three…

 You land on Fairfax media, but much to your dismay Gina Rinehart has just built a collection of houses. A small dint in your pocket and remaining hopeful, you roll again.

 Double four. You look down across the board onto what you’ve primarily known as the ‘Oxford/Mayfair’ strip, though this time it is Newscorp Lane. The first hit, Fox News. You take one last roll. Three. The second hit, The Daily Telegraph. And you’re bankrupt.

 Still want to play?

It’s an inconvenient and undeniable truth that society’s perspectives and social ideologies are sculpted by the media. In Australia there are three different types of media organisations: government, commercial and community. Contemporary research has concluded that there are increasing levels of consolidation and media domination, predominantly in the commercial sector.

Australia’s media landscape has been transformed into a media oligopoly. On the outset primary stakeholders such as Kerry Stokes, James Packer, Gina Rinehart and Rupert Murdoch are primarily held accountable for owning and controlling the mass media empire, and by extension the Australian public that is highly susceptible to opinion and influence.

Outfoxed (2004) metaphorically described the media as the “nervous system of a democracy”. However, the ideal of democracy is slowly being eradicated by an uniformed public opinion comprised of contested ideologies. This leaves an open and malleable space that allows the media to develop and control perspectives. This is evident in Hitler’s use of Nazi propaganda during his campaign in World War Two.

This can also be extended to the definition of critical theory and media pluralism by Oxford, inferring that our critical faculties are becoming “enfeebled”.

Concentration of media ownership by powerful figures, limits our society to a confined range of perspectives allowing for influential power players to persuade and formulate the way in which we imagine the world to be. This notion has activated harsh criticisms of the media serving as an ideological state apparatus and for solely serving the interests of those in power, or themselves. For example, Kerry Stokes’ influential and continual promotion of free speech, or Murdoch’s biased attacks on political figures in The Daily Telegraph and The Australian. What is published is what media owners want the public to believe. The control of the media is the control of the mind.

 Murdoch’s attack on Kevin Rudd in the Daily Telegraph (2013)

Murdoch’s attack on Kevin Rudd in the Daily Telegraph (2013)

For many, Murdoch is the embodiment of the abuse of media power, identifiable in the case of Milly Dowler. It is because of these injustices and misconducts that certain inquisitions, such as the Leveson Inquiry and the Finkelstein Review occur. Nonetheless, as a highly influential media mogul, Murdoch has undoubtedly become Mr. Monopoly.


The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) also observe cross media ownership under the Broadcasting Services Act (1922) in attempt to ensure diversity of ownership and control of mass media. Ideally, increasing levels of consolidation need to be constringed. Regardless, Australia has one of the highest levels of media concentration worldwide, so one must truly evaluate the effectiveness of the application in the current sphere.

Perhaps the monopoly of mass media isn’t between the entrepreneurs, but between the media and the public itself. We are in the game, unaware.


Let’s roll the dice


7 thoughts on “Media-Opoly

  1. To start off, this is a great blog post. The variety of images and videos you have supplied really break up the text and make the post an engaging one to read. Your title is an eye opening and makes the audience intrigued to read what your post is about, so thats a good starting point. Your view on the matter is very interesting and i like the way your brain works. To think of the media as a monopoly game and that rolling a dice emits your fait is a very interesting way to look at things. The links put in place of where you have individuals names or articles on the matter is a great source of information. The point where you state that Australia has one of the highest levels of media concentration worldwide is very interesting to me. Your point of view is very engaging. Well done.


  2. Your use of Monopoly as a metaphor is regrettably accurate. Ideally, consuming media wouldn’t be reduced to a game of chance; we would all make informed decisions about the content we expose ourselves to, based on what we know about the owners. Clearly not everyone possesses this critical faculty, which is dangerous in terms of what the mass media can get away with using us as a means to an end.
    Unfortunately, I don’t think the ideal world of more diversified media ownership will come true in Australia. We’ve grown used to this type of empirical control, and it will only get harder for upstarts to gain prominence in a competitive market. By the same token, I suppose certain people might eventually grow tired of the accepted forms of media and start looking for something fresh. We’ll have to wait and see, but good job!


  3. First off, this is a very good blog post – your use of outside sources makes the post engaging to me as the reader, I specifically enjoyed The Simpsons reference there! Your monopoly analogy is also very engaging and immediately from the get go I can get what your talking about! By reading this post it is also evident that you have done a lot of background research and used that research to convey your point of view, which I totally agree with. The fact that media ownership can do as much as control of what we see and what we don’t see is scary – reading this sentence in your post: “Concentration of media ownership by powerful figures, limits our society to a confined range of perspectives allowing for influential power players to persuade and formulate the way in which we imagine the world to be.” reminded me very much of 1984 by George Orwell – scary stuff!

    Finally, your post was easy to read, engaging and well researched! I look forward to reading more by you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I really enjoyed the way you put this together and especially the ongoing metaphor of the media-climate being a monopoly game (mostly because I’m really bad at monopoly so I frequently feel like everything is owned). I agree that the media in Australia is in a particularly bad state of affair and with very few people owning the various media outlets it is no surprise that very limited views being represented. Although I think it is important to realise that just because the media in Australia isn’t as tightly controlled by the government as places like China, it doesn’t mean the government doesn’t have any regulations put on journalists and media freedoms. I think this is a particularly important issue to discuss especially with the data retention bill just being passed through the federal Senate. Media Watch did an interesting segment on this bill and all the way it affects journalistic freedoms ( I would also wider the parameters of Nazi propaganda from just the WW2 campaign to Hitler’s actual assent to power and early term because in my opinion that was when the best use of Nazi propaganda during Hitler’s time occurred. I really enjoyed reading this and I hope to read more insightful things by you!


  5. Congrats on such a solid post. This post has it all, great content, catching stories, and interesting quotes, images and videos! I absolutely loved the Monopoly reference at the beginning and The Simpsons was a great was to gain momentum again further into the post. I feel like you have captured your audiences attention really well, and as this is a topic that I find myself really interested in, i must say i really enjoyed reading this! To top it off, your conclusion was nicely rounded in the way that you brought it all back to Mr Monopoly. Keep up the good work!


  6. So So good. It is amazing how we are growing up to be such well rounded young people with these views yet we are obviously being force fed whatever we are told to enjoy; and it’s definitely not brain food.
    The problem is that, to be at the head of these organisations like Murdoch, Rinehart, Packer and Stokes are, it is too tempting to act in any way that won’t increase the size of your wallet. We knock these people around for the way the show us the world but would we expect any different when they stand to make fortunes for it.
    The problem definitely lies within the structure of the global media community and we are desperate for a means of mediating how much power these people can control. Maybe we should take a leaf out of another self-imploding entity like the NRL and introduce a salary cap?


  7. This was a really well structured, engaging post. Stringing the post along with ongoing metaphor of the monopoly game was very clever and added to the posts creativity and originality. Great content, interesting and engaging references. Your style of writing is formal and sophisticated which really compliments the content of this post. Really great post, well done!


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