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Wednesday, 14 September 2011
Page: 10064

Mr MURPHY (Reid) (13:46): In light of a number of media reports today let me make it quite clear that my calling for an inquiry into the media has nothing to do with establishing how much of the Australian media is owned and controlled by the Murdoch empire. I already know that. The words about the forthcoming media inquiry this morning said by Michelle Grattan, a very highly respected, very ethical and iconic journalist and member of the Canberra press gallery, to broadcaster Fran Kelly on her ABC Radio National breakfast program say it all. If the government does not include in its terms of reference for its media inquiry an examination of the level of concentration of ownership of Australia's media and the implications for the public interest and our precious democracy, this inquiry will be 'emasculated'. Michelle Grattan is right.

How can any of us sit in this parliament and believe that News Ltd's 70 per cent ownership of all of our newspapers, together with its very extensive other electronic media interests, including its 25 per cent share in monopoly pay TV Foxtel, is good for the public interest and good for our democracy? We cannot.