Australians for a Murdoch Royal Commission is built on the belief that a strong and independent media made up of fearless journalists, free from political interference and working for diverse publications, is essential to a functioning democracy and fair society.
We believe that only a Royal Commission will have the authority, resources and independence to properly investigate the impacts media monopolies have on our communities, on the media and on our democracy.
Our campaign seeks to use the extraordinary democratic power ordinary people can amass when we work together to pressure parliamentarians to call this royal commission and act on its recommendations. The Australian public, via our democracy and its systems, must be stronger than the corporation of an American billionaire and his heir Lachlan.
AFMRC does not seek to preempt the recommendations of a royal commission, but we are inspired by the press freedoms and vibrant media landscapes found overseas in countries that refuse to allow media companies to hold market monopoly, that enshrine the media’s freedom from government and political parties, and that media regulators have genuine capacity to combat dangerous misinformation, hidden agendas or divisive campaigning pretending to be the news.
Australians for a Murdoch Royal Commission will harness the widespread public support for a free and fearless media, and transform that energy into a sustained, strategic campaign directly squarely at our parliaments.
Working together, we’ll make the case for why a royal commission is essential to ensure a strong, diverse media as the lifeblood of our precious Australian democracy, and apply political pressure that’s impossible to ignore.
Our campaign goal is to pressure parliament to call a royal commission into media diversity and immediately act on its recommendations.
Our organisation’s goal is to create a strong, diverse media that’s empowered to investigate fearlessly, publish independently and hold power to account without fear of prosecution.
Here’s the text of the record-breaking e-petition EN1938, endorsed by more than half a million people, that Australians for a Murdoch Royal Commission uses as our collective mission statement and operational purpose:
Our democracy depends on diverse sources of reliable, accurate and independent news. But media ownership is becoming more concentrated alongside new business models that encourage deliberately polarising and politically manipulated news. We are especially concerned that Australia’s print media is overwhelmingly controlled by News Corporation, founded by Fox News billionaire Rupert Murdoch, with around two-thirds of daily newspaper readership. This power is routinely used to attack opponents in business and politics by blending editorial opinion with news reporting. Australians who hold contrary views have felt intimidated into silence. These facts chill free speech and undermine public debate. Powerful monopolies are also emerging online, including Facebook and Google. We are deeply concerned by: mass-sackings of news journalists; digital platforms impacting on media diversity and viability; Nine Entertainment’s takeover of the Melbourne Age and Sydney Morning Herald; News Corp’s acquisition (and then closure) of more than 200 smaller newspapers, undermining regional and local news; attempts to replace AAP Newswire with News Corp’s alternative; and relentless attacks on the ABC’s independence and funding. Professional journalists further have legitimate concerns around unjust searches, potential prosecution, whistle-blower protection, official secrecy and dispute resolution that should be comprehensively addressed. Only a Royal Commission would have the powers and independence to investigate threats to media diversity, and recommend policies to ensure optimal diversity across all platforms to help guarantee our nation’s democratic future.
We therefore ask the House to support the establishment of such a Royal Commission to ensure the strength and diversity of Australian news media.