The media directs much of how we live our life and how we feel about issues prevalent in our society, in saying this, whomever controls the media dictates much of the public’s awareness and feelings about certain issues. Simple statements can sway arguments and can move people to their feet and cause great movements in our history.
A relatively recent example of the power of media was displayed through social media with the “Kony 2012” movement. The idea behind the “Kony 2012” movement was for production company Invisible Children Inc. to try and raise awareness of Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistence Army in Uganda, and hopefully bring him before the International Criminal Court. The film quickly went viral the world over thanks to social media streams such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter and caused people to instantly become aware of this issue and want to take part in helping bring Joseph Kony to justice. The film caused movement in parliaments around the world to try and assist in any way possible to bring Joseph Kony before the ICC and was a rousing success. Unfortunately, the power of media works both ways and the film’s creative lead, Jason Russell, was filmed on March 15, 2012, in the midst of the movement’s most popular moments, during a public breakdown which ended in his arrest by San Diego police. This was a killer blow to the movement in many ways as the media began talking about how the director and leader of the project was having severe psychiatric issues and much of the movement’s momentum was killed off. The controller of the original media was largely to blame for the downfall of this movement in the end after Jason Russell’s psychiatric episode, despite the movements positive messages and righteous goal.
The control of the media in Australia has been a hotly contested issue in recent times. In 2007, John Howard’s government introduced media laws known as the “two out of three” rule. This is in its most basic form a way to stop a monopolisation of the media in Australia by restricting broadcasters to controlling only two of television, radio and print. These media laws are being looked into closely at the moment by Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull who is looking to update these laws to bring them in line with a more online and media driven era. An article in the Sydney Morning Herald from the 13th of March, 2015 (http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/malcolm-turnbull-moves-to-scrap-key-media-ownership-restrictions-20150313-143leg.html) discusses Mr. Turnbull’s plans to bring the laws into the digital age. The side effect of Mr. Tunrbull’s plans would mean that subscription based Foxtel would have less opportunity to bid for large sporting events. The thing that I found most interesting in this was that the Sydney Morning Herald is owned by Fairfax Media, the main rival to News Corp to media in Australia and the CEO of News Corp is Rupert Murdoch who had his own response to Malcolm Turnbull’s plans that he posted to Twitter three days after the article was published.
To me this illustrates perfectly the flow of information from the media as articles from the News Corp world like from The Australian (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/murdoch-attacks-malcolm-turnbulls-media-ownership-reforms/story-e6frg996-1227264493067) show a bias against reforms while articles like the Sydney Morning Herald article from earlier show support for Malcolm Turnbull, this is entirely based on who controls the media and sways those who read these articles to their line of thinking.