13 October 2004

If you've got them by their advertising budgets, their hearts and minds will follow

The Australian media did not perform well in the federal election. The level of bad performance varies from the Fairfax management banning the editorials staff from an endorsement, to the convenient invention of terror incidents, to the general inability to even question the government's record or intentions.

Australian media have a patrimonial approach. Most of it is part of the Murdoch or Packer patrimonies, so that's hardly surprising. Various people (Murdoch and Packer) 'own' the media so they can print or broadcast what they like. In fact, they're entirely dependent on advertising. Ultimately we pay these people by paying the advertising costs they pass onto us through the price mechanism.

In the US, a broadcaster has decided to put out a slam piece on John Kerry just before the presidential election. Talking Points Memo has excellent coverage on how to respond. Our media are going to be excitable for the term of this government. The prospect of Howard controlling the Senate is their first chance in years to get the cross media laws repealed and may allow them to lock up cable as a monopoly forever. They really want stuff from the Man of Steel. But they still need advertisers...

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