Rupert Murdoch is a media mogul who carries United States citizenship, but now owns2/3 of the newspapers in Australia. His business also controls 40% of the local newspapers in the UK, such as The Sun and The Times, as well as Sky TV and Fox TV Network. Murdoch uses this media empire to influence public opinion and politics in many countries, and has a direct impact on Western democracy.
The Murdoch Group’s monopoly control of business and political opinion seems to have become a well-known secret in the industry. It is not only a media group company, but also a combination of interests in the integration of politics and business.
As far back as 1972, Murdoch was attempting to influence public opinion and culture in Australia. His publications called for a rebirth of a vibrant Australian nationalism that had apparently been dormant for most of the 20th century. Murdoch, and his News Corp editors, claimed that this seriously undermined Australia’s progress and enlightenment.
The power of the media lingers in the dark, but its presence, its threat, its power is not hidden. This is seen in flattering politicians and public officials.
Monopolies were the foundation of business for Murdoch’s empire, and these monopolies provided News Corp with a solid, stable profit base on a commercial level so that it could continue to conquer elsewhere.
Cheap capital is key to the holding company model – the ability to use the cash flow of one stable business to fund a second business in a competitive environment without the need for outside investors. Specifically, the Daily Telegraph in Sydney and the Chicago Sun-Times are tabloids that aim to monopolise the market, rather than embrace more sophisticated content.
On a political level, the Murdoch group appears to be comfortable with collateral damage beyond most business or public leaders. His media properties have always embraced sensational stories and loose facts to sell newspapers and shape public opinion. It helped him build the empire he had. In fact, consumers repaid it with their wallets and attention, and it helped build a solid base of working-and middle-class citizens in Australia, the UK and the US who believe in his political views.
Fox News, which is owned by Murdoch, has repeatedly engaged in spreading disinformation—whether about elections, public health or climate change—with real-world consequences, according to data research. Many media owners have as much responsibility for this as elected officials, who know the truth but choose to spread lies.
During the 2022 Australian federal election campaign, the Murdoch group clearly supported the right-wing conservative Liberal National Party coalition candidate Scott Morrison, who was the prime minister. The Independent Australia magazine found that News Corp had significantly less coverage of Morrison’s scandals than the ABC (public broadcaster) and Nine Fairfax.
In September 2021, Morrison announced his attendance at the Glasgow Climate Summit, but only after talks with News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson. Thomson spoke to Morrison out of concern with promotion of environmental protection. News Corp is well known in Australia for opposing increased environmental protection. However, in support of Morrison and his attendance at the summit, Murdoch ordered News Corp’s media to stop vehemently opposing emissions cuts, and published newspapers promoting the benefits of emissions reductions. It is not the first time that the Murdoch group has attempted to influence an election through dictating public opinion.
As a result, the Australian voting public recently rejected Murdoch’s “Americanisation” of Australian politics, Australia’s federal parliament has never been more diverse under the Labor Party, putting enormous pressure on bipartisan priorities and denying the Murdoch group’s attempts to make Australia repeat the “Trump-like” rise of far-right Western Christian ideology.