The image of this American business magnate, heir to the most powerful news media empire in the world, launching defamation proceedings against a tiny media competitor over an article interrogating his role in the January 6 insurrection, is frankly stunning.
Independent MP Zoe Daniel’s planned motion in Parliament for a judicial inquiry to investigate Australia’s hideous concentration of media power should be cheered by everyone who wants to see a bigger, stronger, freer, and more diverse news media.
Daniel’s move comes after Labor and Green senators last year endorsed a judicial inquiry with the powers of a royal commission, concluding after a year-long parliamentary inquiry that our “weak, fragmented and inconsistent” media laws needed full and independent examination. This was spurred by a record-breaking petition to Parliament, which recorded more than 500,000 signatures, and the matter is now shaping as an important question for Labor’s next National Conference.
As a former Washington correspondent, Daniel is well placed to spot the hallmarks of a country being dragged down the same abyss that Fox News has taken the United States. We’ve received similar warnings from former US director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who also backs an inquiry. As someone who lives mostly in the United States, I see these warning signs as well…