Monday, March 25, 2013

Role of capitalist media monopolies untouched by "reforms"

Vanguard April 2013

The media monopolies raised a great hue and cry about supposed restrictions on their freedom contained in media reform legislation proposed by Communications Minister Senator Conroy.


The pack was led by Murdoch’s local lap dog and News Ltd boss Kim Williams.  He accused the government of being “the first outside of wartime to attack freedom of speech”, saying that it will lead to “government-sanctioned journalism”.
This was all rubbish of course, so much so that some members of the pack broke loose, chased their own self-interest tails, and barked up another tree.
Nine Entertainment Chief Executive David Gyngell and Ten Network Chairman Lachlan Murdoch, for example, were pleased with those parts of the reform package that would advantage their companies. 
A 50% rebate on commercial networks’ licence fees would be made permanent, saving them about $180m this year.   Despite all the usual guff in capitalist circles about the benefits of competition policy, there would be no fourth commercial network.  The ceiling on audience reach, which prevents media takeovers that would take a network’s audience beyond 75% of the target, was to be referred to a parliamentary committee and was likely to be abolished.
The fly that crawled up Williams’ nose was a proposed new “Public Interest Media Advocate” to regulate standards developed by the media industry through bodies such as its Australian Press Council.
If this was a handcuff on the freedom of the press, then it was a handcuff made of butterflies’ wings.
It would not have touched the essentials of the role undertaken by the capitalist media which consists firstly, of delivering all of us as media consumers to the monopolies through exposure to advertising; and secondly, to ensure that the ruling ideas of society are the ideas of the ruling class.
In all the shambles of trying to get the media package passed by parliament – and failing – the “debate” was never allowed to touch on the fundamental issue that freedom of the press is a class question.  The capitalist media monopolies deny freedom to express opinions in their press to opponents of the capitalist domination of Australia.
In complete opposition to all that the capitalist press stands for is the Communist paper Vanguard which this year celebrates 50 years of publication.

Where the capitalist media refuses to acknowledge the workers, except in universally negative  terms, Vanguard seeks to bring their immediate and long-term interests and concerns to the fore.
Where the capitalist media refuses to report on this or that struggle of the people, Vanguard seeks to highlight the activities of the people for fundamental change.
Where the capitalist media refuses to permit discussion of certain subjects, or discussion from certain viewpoints, Vanguard seeks to break through the boundaries of bourgeois discourse and keep discussion alive with proletarian content.
Vanguard seeks to maintain the closest ties with the militant and advanced sections of the working class, drawing its material from their contributions, rather than from a staff of paid experts.
Vanguard seeks to deliver a consistent Marxist-Leninist analysis of all questions of the theory and tactics of class struggle, and to link the experiences of workers in Australia to those of our comrades around the globe.
To seek to do these things is not necessarily to actually do them.  This paper has many shortcomings.
Delivering the workers up to the big monopolies is not one of them.

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