The previous Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd has launched a petition calling for a royal fee into NewsCorp’s dominance of Australia media, arguing Rupert Murdoch’s media firm employs ways that “chill free speech and undermine public debate”.
The petition, launched on the Australian Parliament web site on Saturday, had gained greater than 38,000 signatures by Sunday morning, with Rudd tweeting that the recognition of the petition had prompted the web site to suspect customers signing it have been robots.
Whereas the petition requires a royal fee “to make sure a powerful, numerous Australian information media” within the face of “new enterprise fashions that encourage intentionally polarising and politically manipulated information”, Rudd posted a video to Twitter launching the petition that targeted on “rising anger at what the Murdoch media monopoly is doing to our nation”.
Nevertheless it’s unlikely the petition will likely be acted on by the federal authorities as a result of Australia – not like different governments, together with the UK – has no threshold of signatures that requires a petition to be debated in parliament.
Explaining how he arrived at his present view of the media empire – which incorporates the Australian and a number of other newspapers that endorsed him on the 2007 federal election – Rudd stated the corporate’s mastheads had grow to be an “conceited most cancers” on the nation’s democracy.
“The reality is Murdoch has grow to be a most cancers, an conceited most cancers, on our democracy,” Rudd stated.
He stated 70% of Australia’s print readership was owned by Murdoch and he owned just about each newspaper in Queensland “which swings so many federal election outcomes”.
Over the previous decade, in 18 out of 18 federal and state elections, “Murdoch has viciously campaigned in assist of 1 facet of politics, the Liberal Nationwide occasion, and viciously campaigned towards the Australian Labor occasion,” Rudd stated.
“There’s no such factor as a degree taking part in subject any extra.”
Rudd stated Murdoch retained loss-making newspapers in Australia to maximise his political energy in defence of local weather change denial, and pursue his industrial pursuits in relation to the nationwide broadband community.
“The ultimate motive we want this royal fee is the sheer vanity and swagger and bullying behaviour by Murdoch and his editors towards anyone who stands up towards him or has a special standpoint.”
Guardian Australia contacted the Australian parliament to make clear the reason for points on its petition web site.