Leaders from “approximately 110 countries were invited to take part in” President Biden’s two-day Summit for Democracy.
President Biden focused on a few issues, including “election integrity, countering authoritarian regimes and bolstering independent media.”
It is the latter that I wish to comment on.
The President clearly takes independent media seriously, requesting “$236 million dollars in the 2022 budget to support independent media around the globe,” announcing that:
“A free and independent media [is] the bedrock of democracy,” Biden said in remarks kicking off the virtual Summit for Democracy. “It’s how the public stays informed and how governments are held accountable.”
Let’s repeat that. “It’s how the public stays informed and how governments are held accountable.”
Scott Morrison should have excused himself at that very moment. If a democracy means that you encourage independent media or independent journalism, then ours is a fake democracy.
Amendments to the Federal Treasurer’s media bargaining code will be tabled in the New Year.
In a nutshell, if passed, it will mean that in Australia, Facebook and Google can only publish articles from the Murdoch media, Kerry Stokes media, and Fairfax/Channel 9.
Basically, it will be ensure that the voices of independent (or dissenting) media is muffled in the lead up to the next election.
Consider also, that the largest media empire in Australia, the Murdoch media, do absolutely nothing to hold the Morrison government to account. If anything, they seem to behave like the government’s mouthpiece.
The two considerations above should disqualify us from calling ourselves true democracy.
A cross-party Senate inquiry has urged a #MurdochRoyalCommission judicial inquiry to inject much-needed diversity into our media. Thoughtful politicians should think carefully before siding with Murdoch’s monopoly against the interests of our democracy. https://t.co/pf6sFR3JEX
— Kevin Rudd (@MrKRudd) December 10, 2021
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