Sock puppets and the media inquiry

It is a great pity that Senator Conroy has chosen to omit from the media enquiry the single greatest problem for Australian media consumers: the worst ownership concentration in the Western world, which earns us a press-freedom rating behind countries like Estonia and Lithuania. The dominance of a single corporation seriously skews public debate.

Some try to conflate unregulated media ownership with freedom of speech. This is arse-about: insofar as journalists are not sock puppets for their masters, ownership rules have no effect on speech; but insofar as they are, it is a restriction on speech which ownership rules minimise.

Public access to complete information is vital for democracy and requires a diversity of sources. This outweighs any claimed individual right to unconditionally own everything in sight.

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