Apr 12th 2021

New GetUp report finds Australian media concentration at crisis point

Australia’s media is more concentrated, less transparent and less accountable than ever before – according to a new report released by GetUp today analysing Australia’s most up-to-date media ownership data.

Who Controls Our Media? Exposing the impact of media concentration on our democracy fills a critical gap in information about media concentration in Australia and the excessive influence and power media corporations wield. 

Today, as the Senate Inquiry into Media Diversity continues its probe into the influence of the Murdoch Press, this report makes clear recommendations for media reform, including an overhaul of Australia’s media ownership laws.

GetUp acting national director Susie Gemmell said:

"Our media is more concentrated than ever, with an inordinate amount of power and influence sitting in the hands of two major media corporations.

“Successive governments have allowed big media corporations to accumulate vast amounts of wealth, influence and power – with calamitous consequences for our democracy.

“WIth our public debate controlled by the vested interests of a powerful few, our public broadcaster cut to the bone, and local news disappearing by the day, Australia is in a media crisis.  

“Everyday people across the country are losing out while media moguls sink teeth into even more power.”

University of Sydney Associate Professor of Communication and report co-author Benedetta Brevini said:

“Australia is in a media emergency and immediate action must be taken to safeguard our democracy. 

“Unmatched levels of media concentration has allowed a powerful few to accumulate excessive political power, with an unparalleled capacity to set the public agenda.

“This alarming level of media concentration is compounded by a systemic lack of transparency and public accountability is plaguing our media sector.”

University of Sydney PhD candidate and report co-author Michael Ward said:

“After years of deregulation and a lack of transparency, Australian media concentration is only increasing. 

The data is stark. Just a handful of media corporations dominate content platforms, outlets, revenues and control the networking of media messages across the country. 

“Now is the time to invest heavily in public service media, like ABC and SBS, as part of policies to revitalise Australian media plurality.”

Read the report here.

Media contact: Alex McKinnon 0411 829 334

Susie Gemmell
, Acting National Director at GetUp
Benedetta Brevini, University of Sydney Associate Professor of Communication and report co-author
Michael Ward, University of Sydney PhD candidate and report co-author