Mass media mergers, more lies on the way

Reports that newspaper giant Fairfax is considering the purchase of CanWest Media’s radio and tv holdings in New Zealand is yet another example of the consolidation of all mass media into a handful of multinational corporations. Such corporations have little interest in creating a ‘public sphere’ of debate and discussion through their media channels. Rather, they seek only to maximize their profit margin by selling audiences to advertisers through ever more sensationalised reporting. Fairfax owns nine daily NZ newspapers including The Dominion Post and The Press (Christchurch) newspapers, over 60 community newspapers and a string of popular monthly magazines including FHM, New Zealand Gardener and Cuisine. It is an Australian company that has significant control over the major markets there, including ownership of the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age (Melbourne) and The Australian Financial Review. At the end of 2006, Fairfax further expanded its empire and diminished the diversity of voices in the Australian media through its takeover of the Rural Press that operated over 170 regional titles and printing operations in all States of Australia and the ACT. Links: News media ownership in NZ | How to use Indmedia


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