VENTURINI, Georgio (George). Outstanding Australian professor on media oligopoly, constraint on effective free speech & censorship in neo-fascist Murdochracy Australia

Dr. Venturino Giorgio (George) Venturini, formerly an avvocato at the Court of Appeal of Bologna, taught, administered, and advised on, law in four continents, ‘retiring’ in 1993 from Monash University. Author of eight books and about 100 articles and essays for learned periodicals and conferences, his latest work is THE LAST GREAT CAUSE – Volunteers from Australia and Emilia-Romagna in defence of the Spanish Republic, 1936-1939 (Search Foundation, Sydney 2010). Since his ‘retirement’ Dr. Venturini has been Senior Associate in the School of Political and Social Inquiry at Monash; he is also an Adjunct Professor at the Institute for Social Research at Swinburne University, Melbourne (see: http://indymedia.org.au/2012/04/17/is-australia-fascist ).

 

Professor George Venturini on media monopoly and censorship in “fascist-like” Australia (2011):Mass media in Australia are concentrated into the hands of a very small number of proprietors. For example, 11 of the 12 major newspapers in Australia are owned by News Ltd., a subsidiary of News Corporation Inc., which is a foreign entity controlled by Rupert Murdoch and his family. News Ltd. has interests in more than one hundred national, metropolitan, regional and suburban newspapers throughout the country. In terms of its share of circulation, it has: 68 per cent of the capital city and national newspaper market, 77 per cent of the Sunday newspaper market, 62 per cent of the suburban newspaper market, and 18 per cent of the regional newspaper market. News’ holdings include Queensland Press Ltd., jointly owned by Cruden Investments - Murdoch’s own company - and News Corporation. Other News Ltd. media interests are AAP Information Services - jointly controlled with Fairfax, a 25 per cent stake in Foxtel - pay TV, and News Interactive - an online service.…

In practical terms, Murdoch - who incidentally is an American citizen - controls the Australian media: News Ltd. dominates regional and suburban newspaper publishing industry. In addition News Corporation controls Fox News - popularly known as Faux News. The Australian people have fewer different voices upon which to make their decisions than almost any other people in the so-called free world. Murdoch does not mind and, with indifference worthy of a sultan, is quite happy that some Australians feel like living in a Murdochracy. There is, however, a suffocating supply of sport services. And ‘that’ matters: some bread and many circuses. For years some journalists have complained about Murdoch’s autocratic and unprincipled style of demanding that his newspapers publish distorted accounts of the news to suit him. True or not that that may be, particularly in that it is hard to provide proof of the assertion, it is not hard to conclude that, in the presence of a proprietor who controls seventy per cent of the press, democracy is bound to suffer. Even if positive proof were readily available, there is no court before which such evidence can be adduced or which could decide on the issue. The Australian people are not interested. …

Objectivity does not exist in corporate media, and ‘free speech’ is free if the ruling élite likes it. While the rhetoric of ‘free media’ is prevalent in most ‘western’ countries, a culture of censorship - if not self-censorship - is widespread even by the most ‘independent’ and ‘alternative’ media outlets. Good journalism, a very honourable profession in different times, is very demanding. It calls for dedication, wide and continuing education, effort, time and money. Except for money, holding the other elements is not necessary and could provide an unemployment card for many aspiring journalists. The last thing a fascist regime would want is the type of journalism which has the dignity of an old profession, cares about the facts, is capable of distinguish them from propaganda, and talks the truth to power. According to Reporters Without Borders in 2010 Australia was in nineteenth position on a list of countries ranked by Press Freedom - well behind the first five: Finland, Norway, Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland, quite behind New Zealand, Ireland and Malta and just one step ahead of the United Kingdom and two of the United States. The ranking is somewhat affected by the limited diversity in media ownership. The problem has even created a show in itself - Media Watch on a government funded station, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, which is one of two government administered commercial channels, the other being Special Broadcasting Service.” [1, 2]


Professor George Venturini on Australian print media duopoly (2011): "A duopoly in printed media and an oligopoly in other media totally controlled and curtseyed in fear of retribution by a band of Right-wing talking heads, or pens and noisy minions in the Parliaments", [1, 2]"

[1]. George Venturini, “Is Australia Fascist?”, Indy Media Australia, 17 April 2012: http://indymedia.org.au/2012/04/17/is-australia-fascist .

[2]. George Venturini, “Is Australia Fascist?”, Countercurrents,  10 May 2011: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:LOr6ADyXbUMJ:www.countercurrents.org/venturini100511.pdf+venturini+is+australia+fascist&hl=en&gl=au .

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