It’s a complex subject, as Ofcom’s latest review makes plain. But it is every bit as important as the remodelling of selfregulation, if not more so, and now the judge has barely six weeks left in which to consider the issue. To state the obvious: plurality is not just about Murdoch, nor is it simply about size. A vivid lesson in why choice matters is playing out in Australia, with a threat
to the independence of the country’s main alternative to the huge Murdoch domination of the press. Fairfax Media, which includes the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age newspapers, is under siege from the multibillionaire mining magnate Gina Rinehart, who has extremely pronounced views on climate change and politics in general, and is insistent on her right to interfere with editorial policies. If she were to
flex her editorial muscles on the Fairfax board, or to acquire the group, Australia’s once-vibrant journalistic culture would be dramatically different. The choice for the reader would be between Murdoch and Murdoch on steroids.