A bill to establish a Royal Commission into the Murdoch media empire was introduced into the parliament today by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.
The bill establishes a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry and has the full powers of a Royal Commission, including resources and ability to compel witnesses. It would report to the Parliament, rather than the Government.
The Greens will move to refer the bill to a senate inquiry following its introduction.
Greens Spokesperson for Media and Communications Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said:
“Today I introduced a Greens bill to establish a Royal Commission into the Murdoch media empire and the state of media diversity in Australia.
“The influence of the Murdoch media on Australian democracy is unaccountable and dangerous. It is time politicians stop being afraid to question the Murdoch press.
"Only an inquiry with the powers of a Royal Commission can uncover the extent of the Murdoch media’s influence and control over our democracy and fully examine media concentration in Australia.
“Even today we’ve seen the Murdoch press use leaked text messages from an alleged rape victim to prosecute an attempted political attack with little regard to the welfare of Brittany Higgins or for the public interest.
“The revelations in the Dominion case against Fox News was just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the influence of the Murdoch media.
“Rupert Murdoch seemed to do everything he could to get out of giving evidence, leaving us wondering what might have been uncovered. It’s now even more imperative that Rupert Murdoch is called to give evidence before a Royal Commission in Australia.
“Pressure is continuing to build to hold the Murdoch media mafia to account for the role they have played in the polarisation of politics and their rampant spreading of misinformation.
“Australia’s media regulatory framework is not fit for purpose and needs an overhaul. Media regulators in this country are toothless and powerless to act in the public interest under the huge political and market influence of the Murdoch machine.
"The first recommendation of the Senate Inquiry into Media Diversity in Australia was to conduct a judicial inquiry with the powers of a royal commission to investigate media regulation in Australia.
“I invite all members of parliament to support the bill and stand up for public interest journalism and truth in our democracy.”