Communication of norms and values in mass media

Case studies

Essay, 2013

10 Pages, Grade: 1.3



Nick Birch 2013

Governments, businesses and citizens across the world are only beginning to understand the profound implications of living in a hyper-connected world. Organisations operating across borders must recognise that the users of that information, and their governments, often have different cultural norms, values and expectations. These norms are changing as digital natives come of age and challenge old orthodoxies. Digital technologies continue to evolve, making it ever more difficult for anyone to control or regulate the manner and flow of information (World Economic Forum, 2013).

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According to an International Media Concentration Research Project, led by Professor Eli Noam of Columbia University, ‘Australian newspaper circulation was the most concentrated of 26 countries surveyed, and among the most concentrated in the democratic world’ (Flew, 2013). Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp Australia, the Fairfax Media and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) are all examples of mass media communicating systems of norms and values. The first two accounted for 86% of newspaper sales in Australia in 2011, as compared to 54% for the top two newspaper owners in the United Kingdom and as low as 14% for the top two in the United States (Flew, 2013). News Corp and Fairfax have been seen to express a response to political climates according to their owners’ rather singular perspectives. Allegations of news media bias in Australia during the past several years are nothing new, in each case these players are after a different goal (Tucker, 2013).

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One means of achieving one of various goals was Rupert Murdoch’s aim to replace the federal Labor government with a Liberal National Party Coalition government. ‘News Corp Australia titles account for 59% of the sales of all daily newspapers, with sales of 17.3 million papers a week, making it Australia’s most influential newspaper publisher by a considerable margin’ (Flew, 2013). Rupert Murdoch’s interest in playing politics has not always been successful, although he has ‘put at least three Australian Prime Ministers into power (Gough Whitlam, Malcolm Fraser and Kevin Rudd) and subsequently had two of them removed’ (Tucker, 2013).

After this year’s federal election was announced, ‘Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd openly accused News Corp and Murdoch in particular of being out to get him’ (Tucker, 2013).

He said News journalists had been told “to get Kevin Rudd”. He was encouraged or prompted by an article in Melbourne’s The Age by Paul Sheehan, who declared Murdoch wanted the NBN killed off. Mr Rudd called on Murdoch to confirm or deny. Murdoch replied that the NBN could “enhance” his Foxtel delivery and Opposition NBN spokesperson Malcolm Turnbull agreed.

(Tucker, 2013)

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These exchanges led to a debate in print and in social media about whether or not News Corp was in fact biased and whether news media bias could in fact determine the outcome of an election (Tucker, 2013). Primarily, Murdoch wanted ‘the National Broadband Network (NBN) now under construction crippled so that it does not threaten his dominance of cable TV in Australia’ (Tucker, 2013). In exchange for his support, the Liberal party’s Opposition Leader and now Prime Minister Tony Abbott halted construction through the Institute of Public Affairs (Tucker, 2013). In addition, Murdoch ‘will probably bid for ownership of the NBN when it is privatised, with financial support from mining magnate Gina Rinehart, who wants to be a player in Australian news media and already has a financial interest in Fairfax Media and Channel 10’ (Tucker, 2013). The Guardian reporter, John Quiggin (2013) says ‘the construction of a national broadband network would be much simpler and cheaper if Telstra had never been privatised’.

Telstra’s dominant position was enhanced by the fact that its privatisation occurred at the same time as the rise of the Internet, which converted the company from a carrier of other people’s phone calls to a dominant supplier of internet content through its half-share in Foxtel. The fact that the other half of Foxtel is owned by News Corporation has provided the Telstra monopoly with a powerful media arm, which has shown itself to have no scruples about using its dominance to promote its corporate interests.

(Quiggin, 2013)


Excerpt out of 10 pages


Communication of norms and values in mass media
Case studies
Central Queensland University
Applied Communication Arts
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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742 KB
Grade has been converted from Australian (27/30) to German (1.3)
Nick Birch, Applied Communication, Communications, Arts, Mass Media, Creative Enterprise
Quote paper
Nick Birch (Author), 2013, Communication of norms and values in mass media, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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