Turnbull Replaces Rudd in News Corp Crusade

Former Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has handed over the reins of a push for a parliamentary investigation into Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. Going forward, ex-Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (2015-18) of the Liberal Party will co-chair the “Australians for a Murdoch Royal Commission” alongside Sharan Burrow, former general secretary of the International Trade Union Conference and leader of the Australian Council of Trade Unions. Prior to becoming Australia’s ambassador to the United States, Rudd (2007-10, 2013) spent years pushing for a Royal Commission into the news giant, claiming Murdoch was a “cancer” on democracy. Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd during the public hearing into media diversity in Australia at the Environment and Communications References Committee in the Main Committee Room at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, on Feb. 19, 2021. (Sam Mooy/Getty Images) News Corp Australia’s mastheads have traditionally been major players in political discourse in the country alongside media conglomerates Fairfax (now owned by Nine Entertainment), Seven West Media, and public broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), which receives over $1 billion (US$670 million) in government funding annually. The media landscape has since shifted with the influence of social media outlets like Google, Twitter, and Facebook. “Murdoch’s Fox News (echoed by its Australian mini-me, Sky News) has shown contempt for the public with a series of Orwellian broadcasts claiming the fatal Capitol attack was not an assault on democracy,” Turnbull and Burrow wrote in an op-ed published across Nine Entertainment’s newspaper mastheads. “Our democracy is still one of competing parties but, unless action is taken to stop the rot, it risks becoming one of competing realities.” https://t.co/8a5AmrYQOQ — Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) March 20, 2023 “This has serious consequences for Australia. Not only does our long-term economic and national security depend on the stability of our U.S. ally, but the same corporate culture exists in Australia, where News Corp accounts for more than half the media industry,” they wrote. Both claimed News Corp had long “abandoned its commitment to truth” and that newsrooms had been hollowed out and replaced by “extreme political activists.” “All media outlets have their unique political outlook, but News Corp stands apart for its willingness to simply make stuff up.” The duo also said News Corp’s Fox News coverage of electoral fraud around the December 2020 U.S. presidential election was nothing more than an attempt to drive ratings and revenue. Little Scrutiny of Entire Media Landscape However, while Turnbull and Burrow push for increased scrutiny of right-wing media outlets, there was no mention of left-wing media and problems around their reporting. Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull smiles upon his arrival at Japan’s Prime Minister’s official residence before meeting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, Japan, Jan. 18, 2018. (Reuters/Franck Robichon/Pool) The ABC, Nine Entertainment’s newspapers, the Guardian Australia, and superannuation funded The New Daily all command predominantly left-leaning audiences, according to research (pdf) from the University of Canberra. The former prime minister and union leader’s calls also come despite CNN’s new CEO Chris Licht openly stating that his network has shifted too far to the left. “The uninformed vitriol, especially from the left, has been stunning,” Licht told the NY Times. “Which proves my point: so much of what passes for news is name-calling, half-truths, and desperation.” Licht is trying to arrest a significant decline in viewership for the network, which saw it garner just 444,000 viewers during primetime compared to Fox New’s 2 million in January. While its daytime programming attracted 417,000 viewers compared to Fox’s 1.4 million. The CEO is now attempting to restructure the network’s operations and programming so that it was less focused on former U.S. President Donald Trump and more centred.

Turnbull Replaces Rudd in News Corp Crusade

Former Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has handed over the reins of a push for a parliamentary investigation into Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

Going forward, ex-Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (2015-18) of the Liberal Party will co-chair the “Australians for a Murdoch Royal Commission” alongside Sharan Burrow, former general secretary of the International Trade Union Conference and leader of the Australian Council of Trade Unions.

Prior to becoming Australia’s ambassador to the United States, Rudd (2007-10, 2013) spent years pushing for a Royal Commission into the news giant, claiming Murdoch was a “cancer” on democracy.

Epoch Times Photo
Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd during the public hearing into media diversity in Australia at the Environment and Communications References Committee in the Main Committee Room at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, on Feb. 19, 2021. (Sam Mooy/Getty Images)

News Corp Australia’s mastheads have traditionally been major players in political discourse in the country alongside media conglomerates Fairfax (now owned by Nine Entertainment), Seven West Media, and public broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), which receives over $1 billion (US$670 million) in government funding annually.

The media landscape has since shifted with the influence of social media outlets like Google, Twitter, and Facebook.

“Murdoch’s Fox News (echoed by its Australian mini-me, Sky News) has shown contempt for the public with a series of Orwellian broadcasts claiming the fatal Capitol attack was not an assault on democracy,” Turnbull and Burrow wrote in an op-ed published across Nine Entertainment’s newspaper mastheads.

“This has serious consequences for Australia. Not only does our long-term economic and national security depend on the stability of our U.S. ally, but the same corporate culture exists in Australia, where News Corp accounts for more than half the media industry,” they wrote.

Both claimed News Corp had long “abandoned its commitment to truth” and that newsrooms had been hollowed out and replaced by “extreme political activists.”

“All media outlets have their unique political outlook, but News Corp stands apart for its willingness to simply make stuff up.”

The duo also said News Corp’s Fox News coverage of electoral fraud around the December 2020 U.S. presidential election was nothing more than an attempt to drive ratings and revenue.

Little Scrutiny of Entire Media Landscape

However, while Turnbull and Burrow push for increased scrutiny of right-wing media outlets, there was no mention of left-wing media and problems around their reporting.

Epoch Times Photo
Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull smiles upon his arrival at Japan’s Prime Minister’s official residence before meeting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, Japan, Jan. 18, 2018. (Reuters/Franck Robichon/Pool)

The ABC, Nine Entertainment’s newspapers, the Guardian Australia, and superannuation funded The New Daily all command predominantly left-leaning audiences, according to research (pdf) from the University of Canberra.

The former prime minister and union leader’s calls also come despite CNN’s new CEO Chris Licht openly stating that his network has shifted too far to the left.

“The uninformed vitriol, especially from the left, has been stunning,” Licht told the NY Times. “Which proves my point: so much of what passes for news is name-calling, half-truths, and desperation.”

Licht is trying to arrest a significant decline in viewership for the network, which saw it garner just 444,000 viewers during primetime compared to Fox New’s 2 million in January. While its daytime programming attracted 417,000 viewers compared to Fox’s 1.4 million.

The CEO is now attempting to restructure the network’s operations and programming so that it was less focused on former U.S. President Donald Trump and more centred.