Media ownership & Rupert Murdoch

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The Mediation of Power investigates how those in positions of power use and are influenced by media in their everyday activities.

The mediation of parliamentary politics:

Cook et al in 1983 found processes that involve substantive political change were already in motion before news coverage on the issue. Political responses are usually ‘symbolic’ which heightens media interest. Hence, what may be classified as news effects and media agenda, may be reclassified as political news management by others. (Davis, 2007)


Rupert Murdoch is an 85 year-old Australian born media mogul. Rupert has a large level of political influence in the United States, and found several media organisations including Fox news which is the one he is most recognised for, as well as News Corporation, Sky UK, and 21st Century Fox. Media power that is exercised by Murdoch typically takes place through a particular party at elections or decisions of government.

Rupert Murdoch’s views regarding the concentration of media ownership in the hands of a few:

Does Rupert Murdoch own globally, and if so then how influential is he?

Does he own globally? 

According to a source called USA Today, Rupert Murdoch does own a variety of international channels including STAR movies and Chinese channels, NGC Network international, Fox sports Latin America, Channel V Thailand, CJ E&M Korea, Fox sports japan, STAR India, Fox sports Asia as well as Rotana (in the middle East). (Balakrishnan, 2015) This clearly demonstrates that Murdoch’s influence is global as he has channels internationally to portray his own views and beliefs regarding global politics.

How influential is Rupert Murdoch?

When Murdoch’s News Corporation acquired Hughes’s DirecTV satellite system, it not only added $9 billion annual income, but reached a new medium for millions of homes. Murdoch’s new acquisition gave him power to intimidate bigger cable systems by offering home gadgets without commercials. Consequently, commercial television accumulated a large enough audience that were unable to resist eager advertisers. (Bagdikian, 2004) This reflects Rupert Murdoch’s huge level of influence.

An article written by Aljazeera news stated that Rupert Murdoch is largely influencing the British media. After announcing that Rupert Murdoch is a long-time critic of the BBC, David Cameron after his outright win in May 2015 announced a review of finances at the BBC. Conservatives harbouring for a liberal agenda was denounced. (Al Jazeera, 2015)

Murdoch is said to have affected global politics and journalism today. In an article written by Russ Baker, he declares Murdoch has ridiculed and raised doubts about global catastrophe and science itself. For example his outlets have played a leading role in dismissing scientific consensus and climate change, whilst creating hysteria about false issues. (Baker, 2011)

Interestingly, a BBC article states Mr Murdoch does have extensive global reach as he does have a presence in most countries and an annual revenue of £19bn.

Australia and New Zealand: News Corp owns 44% of Sky Network in Australia

Asia: 20% stake in India’s news channel

Europe: News Corp owns a share of 39% at BSkyb

Africa and Middle East: News Corp owns a 9% share of Rotana

Latin America: Significant shares with three broadcasters

(BBC news, 2011)


One theory of the state that is taken into account is the distinction between state power and state apparatus. Repressive suggests that the State Apparatus in question is the “functions of violence”, at least ultimately. Ideological State Apparatus includes a number of realities which present themselves to the immediate observer. State Apparatus belongs to the public domain. There is a distinction between the private and the public internal to bourgeois law, as domains in bourgeoisie law exercises its “authority”. (Blackwell, 2006) Thus although Rupert Murdoch does have a lot of global influence as he has connections internationally, the fact is, media power still to an extent remains in the hands of state authority.


Al Jazeera, (2015) The political influence of Murdoch’s media empire, [online]. Available:> [accessed on 2nd March 2016].

Althusser, L. (2006) ‘Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses’, in Durham, M. G. and Kellner, D. (eds.) Media and Cultural Studies: Keyworks. Oxford: Blackwell.

Bagdikian, B. (2004) The New Media Monopoly. Boston, MA: Beacon.

Baker, R (2011) 12 Ways Rupert Murdoch’s Empire Has Made The World Worse [online]. Available:’s_media_empire_has_made_the_world_worse> [accessed on 2nd March 2016].

Balakrishnan, A (2015) What does Rupert Murdoch own? A little bit of everything, [online]. Available:> [accessed on 2nd March 2016].

BBC news, (2011) The global reach of Murdoch’s News Corp, [online]. Available:> [accessed on 2nd March 2016].

Davis, A. (2007) chapter 2 ‘Media policy: communication and the economic inefficiencies of market liberalisation’, in The Mediation of Power: A Critical Introduction Abingdon: Routledge.

Wells, John C. (2008) Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd ed.) Longman, p. 526


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