Within a week, hundreds of thousands of Australians have signed the petition initiated by former Australian PM, Kevin Rudd on Saturday 10 October 2020, calling for a royal commission into Murdoch media empire, naming News Corp a “cancer on democracy” and a “protection racket” for the Coalition holding almost 70 percent of print readership across Australia.
Mr Rudd said that he was motivated by his passion for the country’s future because many people in Australian society, including in rival media, were afraid to speak up for fear of being targeted by News Corp’s media outlets.
He said that the Murdoch family’s media company, News Corp has the power to sway public opinion to protect its own agenda and to damage its political enemies and the concerns was that “Australia’s print media is overwhelmingly controlled by News Corporation” and “this power is routinely used to attack opponents in business and politics by blending editorial opinion with news reporting”.
“A decade ago when my government produced one-fifth of the level of debt – one-fifth the size of [Prime Minister Scott] Morrison’s deficit and still kept Australia out of recession – Murdoch day in and day out would abuse the news reporting to define us as bad economic managers,” Mr Rudd said.
Rudd’s latest move against Murdoch comes after the publication of a media interview by Rupert’s son, James Murdoch, who told The New York Times , that he left the company because he was concerned its newspapers were disguising facts and endorsing disinformation.
News Corp owns The Australian and Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph, Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Brisbane’s The Courier Mail and Adelaide’s The Advertiser as well as suburban newspapers in nearly every state and territory, owning the major newspaper in the Northern Territory, The NT News, and Tasmania’s Mercury.
The text of the tweet was as follows:
Australians have watched with growing anger at what the Murdoch media monopoly is doing to our country. A cancer on democracy.
Today I am launching a national petition to establish a #MurdochRoyalCommission.
— Kevin Rudd (@MrKRudd) October 9, 2020