As Modia Minotaur, still one of Australia's best and most underrated polibloggers says:
The Australian's attack on Kim Beazley's decision to make the axing of AWAs a central platform for the next election has been extraordinary.Indeed, and within Labor the idea needs to start germinating that two can play this dirty game. With the political will, the federal government has all the power it needs to reconfigure the media landscape and blatantly, shamelessly, manouevre the most wanton abusers of power and wealth to the sidelines.
...This sort of clear bias only lends heat to the debate on cross media ownership reforms...
The reason the game must be dirty is that you are dealing with the most direct and flagrant abuses of power in the media world, and with no ifs or buts about it any proposal to weaken the power of the dominant hegemons would be met by vicious, unrepentant, open use of the fourth estate to prevent that party getting into power.
This constant and, in the present environment, well-founded fear of reprisal is the reason politicians continue to woo some of the nastiest and most destructive forces in our country. People point to the way Kerry Packer bullied politicians as some sort of quality, when in fact it just demonstrated the phenomenal arrogance of someone who knew he had the dangling parts of our democracy in his pocket.
The sensible approach would be a mix of market-freeing reforms and deliberate mercantilist measures designed to empower minor media and reduce dominant ownership.
And the only way to deliver such a raft of reforms is rapidly, announcing them the day you are elected and driving them relentlessly so that the effects are starting to be felt well before the next election. This would start to open up debate and competition, but it would also show the big players that the government meant business and would be prepared to go even further if provoked.