Mining corporations’ control of Australian media to increase, as Gina Rinehart joins
Other mining billionaires may also join Rinehart’s bid to shape Australia’s media in her own image…….. the corporate rich’s control of the media is hardly limited to Rinehart. It is the rule, not the exception….. Australia already has the most monopolised media in Western world.
Rinehart grabs for media control, Green Left, February 11, 2012 ,By Paul Benedek She’s proposed nuclear explosions for open-cut mining, funded tours by climate deniers and called for bringing in cheap migrant labour to work her mines.
Now Australia’s richest person, Gina Rinehart, has bought the largest individual stake in Fairfax Media, which runs the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and the Australian Financial Review, plus various radio stations and regional papers.
In 2010, Rinehart bought herself a seat on the Channel 10 board when she paid $166 million for a 10% stake in the television station.
Her expansion from mining baron to media mogul is most likely not a financial decision. Rinehart is spending less than 1% of her wealth on Fairfax, and media is far less profitable than mining.
An online video first posted on YouTube by the free market Mannkal Foundation helps explain Rinehart’s move. The video shows prominent climate denier “Lord” Christopher Monckton in a meeting hosted by Mannkal in July last year.
Monckton told the audience they should encourage “super rich” backers to invest in a Fox News-style media for Australia. He said: “Frankly, whatever you do at a street level … is not going to have much of an impact compared with capturing an entire news media.”
He said setting up an Australian version of Fox News “would be a breakthrough and give to Australia a proper dose of free market thinking”. It appears Rinehart has taken Monckton’s advice. Rinehart is buying into media so she can further her pro-mining, anti-environmental outlook. The ABC’s Hungry Beast program said last year that the young Rinehart “announced a plan to revolutionise open cut mining by using nuclear explosions. The plan was scrapped, but 20 years later she mused: ‘It’s a pity it didn’t happen’.”
More recently, Rinehart founded the climate denial lobby group Australians for Northern Development and Economic Vision (ANDEV).
ANDEV demands the creation of “a special Northern Economic Zone stretching across the north of West Australia, the Northern Territory and Northern Queensland, where companies can bring in temporary labour”. It campaigned heavily against the Rudd government’s tax on mining super profits and lobbies for government concessions and business tax breaks.
ANDEV’s membership includes conservative mining company executives, former Pauline Hanson adviser John McRobert, Mannkal Foundation chairperson Ron Manners and prominent Australian climate denier Ian Plimer.
Rinehart has called Plimer “one of the leading sources of reasoned and factual information in Australia on global warming and climate change”. In January, she appointed him to the boards of two of her companies.
Climate of denial
In May last year, Rinehart spoke out against what she called the “global warming fear campaign” in an opinion piece in mining industry magazine Australian Resources and Investment……
Rinehart helped fund Monckton’s Australian speaking tour last year. Australian journalist Graham Readfearn described Monckton’s views in a 2011 ABC Drum opinion piece: “Among other things, Lord Monckton argues that attempts by governments and the United Nations to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from deforestation and burning fossil fuels are part of a conspiracy to install a world government. In Lord Monckton’s eyes it’s all a socialist plot.”
Rinehart even revived the Lang Hancock Lecture at Fremantle’s Notre Dame University (which she also sponsors) so Monckton could give it.
Corporate power and the media
Other mining billionaires may also join Rinehart’s bid to shape Australia’s media in her own image…….. the corporate rich’s control of the media is hardly limited to Rinehart. It is the rule, not the exception….. Australia already has the most monopolised media in Western world. Fairfax controls about 30% of Australia’s newspaper market. Rupert Murdoch’s News Limited owns most of the rest….. Rinehart’s grab for more media influence means the alternative media — the media that are independent of corporate interests — are more important than ever. … http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/49987
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