By reading Echonetdaily you are helping us to fight Rupert Murdoch’s growing control of the media in Australia.
Murdoch’s News Corp is the largest shareholder in APN*, the company that publishes the Northern Star, Byron Shire News, Ballina Advocate, Tweed Daily News and Lismore’s Northern Rivers Echo.
But few people realise just how much News Corp’s political-influence footprint has grown throughout Australia in recent months. One of the few independent media companies, Crikey.com.au, said this last week about News Corp:
‘The company – through its director, shareholder, management or “associate” proxies, now owns or has the key influence over:
- The vast majority of metro newspapers;
- The vast majority of suburban newspapers;
- The majority of regional daily newspapers;
- Two key radio networks;
- One of three free-to-air TV networks; and
- Australia’s only pay-TV network.’
At the same time, funding for government bodies such as the ABC and SBS is being cut, and they are under commercial pressures.
This is important because firstly, without independent media like the ABC, the Byron Shire Echo and its online publication Echonetdaily, Crikey and our local BayFM, everyone will start to believe that mainstream media tell the truth, and politicians and governments will be more susceptible to influence by large companies.
Secondly, even more money will be siphoned offshore to multinationals who pay little tax in Australia. If you think online media will fix the problem, just consider how much tax Google pays in Australia (virtually none).
The good news is that Echonetdaily’s sister publication the Byron Shire Echo remains a small, yet strong, independent paper that distributes 48 per cent more papers and is read by almost twice as many people as its Murdoch-owned competitor**, but this is rare in Australia, and has only been possible with the continued support of the unique Byron Shire community.
Many people don’t realise that Echonetdaily has always been almost totally funded by advertising dollars, and the best thing you can do to support independent media is to either advertise, or tell those advertisers who do support us how much you value their support of the bits in between their ads.
Simon Haslam, General Manager
*Source: investorcentre.apn.com.au June 17, 2015
**Source: CAB audited distribution, Roy Morgan readership survey June 11, 2015.