Former ALP supremo supports Rudd’s Murdoch Royal Commission petition

Cameron Magusic, Catalyst joint culture editor

Former Hawke government minister and Australian Labor Party president Barry Jones says he is ‘very sympathetic’ to former prime minister Kevin Rudd’s record-breaking parliamentary petition calling for a Royal Commission into Rupert Murdoch’s Australian media.  

Jones made the comment while speaking to RMIT Catalyst about his new book, What is to be done: political engagement and saving the planet, published by Scribe.

In the book, Jones names media mogul Murdoch as one of four Australians who “have far more political influence than GetUp’s one million supporters” (p. 327).

Rudd’s petition, which Labor MP Andrew Leigh tabled in federal parliament on Monday, expresses concern “Australia’s print media is overwhelmingly controlled” by Murdoch’s News Corporation.

This control “is routinely used to attack opponents in business and politics by blending editorial opinion with news reporting”, according to the ‘petition reason’ on the Parliament of Australia’s website.

Last week, the petition achieved the milestone of getting more than 500,000 signatures and has beaten the previous record of more than 400,000 signatures endorsing a petition calling for a climate emergency declaration. 

The petition ends by asking the House “to support the establishment of such a Royal Commission to ensure the strength and diversity of Australian news media”.

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