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Byron Shire
April 19, 2021

How to avoid Murdoch’s ever-expanding empire

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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.

News Corp’s extraordinary dominance of our media


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I bet you don’t print this getup! We should all be proud of Rupert Murdock (? And his Dad) an Adelaide boy who slated them all on the international media stage. Newspapers. Movies. Cable TV. PHILANTHROPIST AND NICE SONS WHO ARE ALSO SUCCESSFUL MEDIA ICONS.
    An you produce a local tag and dare to criticise his success. What is it about Australians and Tall Poppies. As an editor and newspaper you live in a tiny little world. Aim higher. Strive to be a Murdoch.

  2. I subscribe to EchoNet Daily and received a marketing communication from them last week, not unlike the note above. It did encourage me to subscribe to Crikey as well. I was very surprised that there was no disclosure statement regarding the shareholding that according to Wikipedia, exists between the holding company of Crikey, Private Media and the “Echo” papers. Surely if we are to have a free and independent media, we should be able to trust they will fully disclose interests. Until recently I did subscribe to Crikey, but found it had lost it’s balance and was too left wing. I want truthful and balanced news. When you guys wake up to this, I will happily re subscribe.

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