A motion by the Greens senator, Sarah Hanson-Young went ahead without opposition from the federal government paving the way for an inquiry into media diversity in Australia.
The inquiry is set to focus on the dominance of the Murdoch media empire, the influence of media concentration on democracy and challenges faced by news outlets in the modern digital landscape.
This followed an online petition initiated by former Australian PM Kevin Rudd calling for an inquiry into Rupert Murdoch’s media dominance, the petition got a record number of signatures as more than 500,000 Australians signed the petition to parliament.
The former prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull will be called to give evidence, also giving evidence are News Corp Australia’s editors and commercial executives, alongside independent and regional and rural editors.
News Corp Australia’s executive chairman, Michael Miller, said on Wednesday the company had been a participant in at least nine media inquiries held over the past decade. “As always, we will continue to constructively engage in these important conversations.”
News Corp Australia controls 70% of local newspaper circulation. News Corp’s titles have been accused of minimising the role of climate change in reporting last summer’s bushfires, and publishing some misleading reports about the spread of coronavirus and the effect of lockdowns in Australia.
The company has repeatedly defended its journalism against accusations of political bias, racism and climate change scepticism by pointing to its high sales and circulation.