News Corporation, Yahoo.com, CBS, the New York Times, the BBC. These and similar institutions deliver the world to countless millions of people. Yet the information they provide is often biased to suit political agendas and national or corporate interests.
We live in a world where information can travel around the world at the speed of light. Unfortunately, the same is true for disinformation. Those of us who have internet access have the opportunity to browse hundreds of different media outlets from around the world, at the click of a mouse. However, the challenge is to find an alternative viewpoint, let alone one that we can verify is trustworthy. Increasingly social media is becoming a significant part of the overall media mix.
Stories that circulate as ‘news’ often originate from a single source, despite the apparent diversity of the media in which they appear. It is not unusual to find the same stories – sometimes repeated word for word – appearing in media outlets in the United States, New Zealand, India and Japan.
Australia’s media ownership is more highly concentrated than most other Western countries with four companies accounting for over 90% of industry revenue.
Around the world, the mainstream media climate is changing dramatically as people increasingly turn to social media to share information and to source news. The “brutal economics” of the shift to digital is redefining the appearance, the marketing, and possibly even the very nature of media and the ways in which we access information.