Media Ownership Essay

Revision of clickview video here.

Media Plurality

Convergence and Divergence

Recently, the Government revised the media ownership laws. The essay question involves media ownership and government regulation.


In order to answer this question you will need to introduce the essay topic by describing what you are arguing. This includes:

• Cross Media Ownership (what is it – when was the law implemented)
What was cross media ownership meant to do?

• The importance of media ownership – how do a few people controlling the media affect diversity
• The current regulation inquiry – why was it established and what are some of its findings/suggestions

Here is the link to earlier posts on the subject.

Convergence Review


Abbott Government and media ownership

1/ Truth or tabloid?

Read the following story and tweet your response.

MH370 crashed in ‘suicide mission’, Britain’s The Daily Telegraph newspaper reports

Media ownership is a contentious issue.

2/ Read these articles
The phone hacking scandal and Rupert Murchoch’s responsiblity.

Note the date this article was written.
Why is the date important?

3/ Independence of Media

Watch ‘The Changing Face of Media‘ on clickview.

4/ Media ownership in Australia

The growing threat to Australia’s media plurality 

Who owns Channel 10, 7 and 9
Who owns SBS and ABC
List the major media players in Australia (there are four)

Accountable Media Ownership

Once you have read through the stories answer the following questions.

What is the problem with media ownership?
Who should be allowed to own the media?
Should people (shareholders) be allowed to have a stake in media?
Should media just be owned by governments?
What are some of the problems with highly concentrated media ownership by individuals or governments?
How should media be made accountable.

Read Chapter 6 pages 102 – 110 for homework.

Media Ethics

Read through this story about Mick Jagger and the Daily Mails decision to run a photo of him grief stricken over his girlfriend’s death.

Lurid coverage of L’Wren Scott’s death shows British tabloids at their worst _ Joan Smith _ Comment is free _

  • Then answer what codes do you consider have been broken in reporting the story.
  • What does the article say about the editor’s code of practice?
  • Should public figures be treated the same way as non-celebrities
  • What reference does the journalist make to the Leveson report and why is this important?

2/ Find three stories in today’s online papers that you consider may have broken the code of ethics. Describe which code they have broken.

Help with tabloid essay

Here are some answers we workshopped in class to help with your tabloid essay assignment.

1/ Yes or no statement.

  • Introduce your argument as to wether you agree that tabloid televsion shows should be considered entertainment and then state your reasons.

Yes, I believe tabloid shows such as Current Affair and the now defunct Today Tonight, are purely entertainment and therefore  should be considered fictional.

I will argue that considering commercial tabloid shows are entertainment then bias, media manipulation, quality of news and chequebook journalism all constitute this genre.

After your introduction you can then choose examples

Tabloid television shows contain bias. For example, on a recent Media Watch episode there was clear evidence of a story being taken out of context.

  • Evidence of media bias, name calling, editing in footage of tatoo parlours etc..
  • Talk about street youth gangs,
  • Disability pension story.
  • Christoper Skase

The production values on these shows are generally of a high quality and differ from serious current affairs in several ways.

Dramatic voice-overs
Fast paced
Darkly lit
Taken out of context

  • Give an example of the pensioner and teen gangs that allegedly destroyed the rose bushes
  • Another example is the disability pension and Media Watch disproved the Centrelink rort by proving you can’t claim all that money unless you have sick mum, dad, children
  • How did they edit the Skase story ie  road blocks nothing to do with Skase, it was footage from elsewhere

This is all clear evidence that Current affairs on commercial television are fictional.

Another contrast is with serious current affairs like 7.30 Report and 4 Corners is that Today Tonight and a Current Affair often pay people for their stories, otherwise known as chequebook journalism. Mercedes Corby was allegedly paid  100,000 for the story of Shapelle, .

In contrast serious current affairs shows like the 7.30 report do not pay for stories. They are investigative journaists and trusted to uncover the truth about relevant news and public interest stories.

  • Glamorous hosts on commercial tv in comparison to Leigh Sayles or the hosts of four corners – tradies, single mums, teenagers, celebrities
  • Neutral sets, basic set up, politicians, business people, academics

In conclusion, I have demonstrated how commercial current affairs shows are entertainment because etc….

Commercial TV is owned by people, Rupert Murdoch
You can research who owns channel 9 and channel 7

How do you make money from tv? Advertising

2/Qestion 2 is asking you whether you agree that people should be paid for stories. You will need to argue whether you believe this is ethical or not.

What is chequebook journalism?

  • Give examples of how much people have been paid for stories
  • Contrast chequebook journalism with serious news stories and how they get people to talk
  • What sort of stories tend to be rewarded.

What sort of payments are offered? Are all stories offered the same amount of money? What other sort of payment is there?

Street gang being bribed with alcohol and ciggerettes.

Should news be sensational or should it be serious?

Discuss how chequebook journalism can lead to serious consequences like the hacking scandal with Milly Dowling.

3/ Contrast serious journalism with entertainment journalism –

  • which stories do each types of show focus upon?
  • how long are stories on both types of programs
  •  who do they interview on both types of shows
  • Are serious shows heavily edited like current affairs commercial tv
  • quality of journalism,

4/Ratings, commercial television is based on ratings

Talk about the power of advertising dollars and how commercial tv, unlike public tv survives by charging for ads.

5/ Question 5 – talk about the hacking scandal in the UK

Choose 20 stories

News, like any form of entertainment, is a construct. Editors sort through hundreds of stories and then choose those they think will appeal to their target audience.

Your task is to sort through these stories and pick 20 for a paper like The Age.

Banks collapse in major global shakedown
Barak Obama caught with pants down
Tony Abbot  in 5 billion China coal deal
Fire victim ‘a perfect man, my hero’
Solar Energy emits greenhouse gas
Ellen breaks Twitter with celebrity selfie
Babies die in baby baths
Tiger escapes from zoo
Mining booms in NW Tassie
Family war over four-year-old fortune
Qantas takes a dive
Drunk drivers face tougher sentences
Gas prices top triple household debt
By-election called in South Eastern Sydney
Iraqi suicide bombers to invade America
Hugh Jackman confirms relationship with Tom Cruise
Teenager killed by Goon in Boat Harbor beach tragedy
Aids bigger killer than starvation in Africa
Pedophile gang move to Thailand
House market recovers
Health and Happiness soar
Pregnancy joy for Jennifer Aniston
Cheese banned for causing cancer
Man demands right to terminate wife pregnancy
Ratings success for Tasmanian North West Drama
Joe Hockey says Australia is broke
Secret to happiness – nothing!
Boy drowns while walking dogs
Australians keep getting fatter
Teenage rage at binge drinking crackdown
Caterpillar sacks all workers
Australian cricket team scandal
Australia joins Ukraine war on Russia
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt to Marry
Albino Bear found with two heads
Earthquake in Chile kills 20,000
Liberal Government dumps Abbot
Funding Cuts to Hospitals
Bridge falls in Sydney Harbour
Diabetes kills 50,000
Ten dead on Bass Highway
Wall Street Stocks plummet
Plastic surgery explodes woman’s face
Cold blizzard in Europe kills 500
Paris no longer the city of love
Trains to run through North West Coast

1/ Explain your choice of story.
2/ What is the ratio of national to international stories you would choose.
3/ Would your choices have been different if you were working for The Advocate?

Read this post on the cadet journalist who visited the media class.

There are three templates to choose from for your daily paper. We will look at all three and discuss the merits of each.

Newspapers have limited space for advertising and news stories. In this exercise we are going to use a template provided to work out where to put the news stories written by yourself and the students in the class, where to put advertising, weather, the index and any other information that you would normally put in a newspaper.