New occupiers target Murdoch's media empire

Adelaide has a new social movement in town, yet with a familiar name: Occupy.

The Occupy movement has been criticised for its lack of focus and demands, yet in Adelaide there is a clear focus for direct action: Rupert Murdoch.

Hence the name: Occupy Murdoch.

Occupy Murdoch specifically focuses on corporate controlled media, especially News Corporation. Adelaide's daily tabloid The Advertiser is a Murdoch paper that publishes rubbish dressed up as “news” to distract people and supports specific political interests.

Occupy Murdoch says it “emphatically reject[s] and challenge[s] the corporate media system … through direct action”.

Its social media went public on February 12 and there has been a strong response. Its first action, Occupy The Advertiser!, had 62 confirmed attendees by February 17, a strong response for Adelaide.

Occupy Murdoch plans to rally outside the newspaper's offices on March 9 to protest against “News Ltd's continued assault on our democracy with biased disinformation and corporate propaganda”, the Facebook event said.

This new Occupy group couldn’t be more relevant. Australia has lived with Murdoch’s shadow cast over it for too long. There is a stark contrast between democratic media challenging power and corporate media’s subservience to power: WikiLeaks and News Corporation, Assange and Murdoch.

The news seems to be in transition. Online media are taking a firm grip while non-corporate media like WikiLeaks expose power and corruption, a public trust the media is supposed to fulfill.

A historical opening where action can affect power seems to be arising. There is increased pressure on Murdoch’s empire since it was forced to shut down British tabloid News of the World, subsequent resignations of top officials, and prosecutions of those involved in phone hacking.

Occupy Murdoch’s rationale statement also tells of the historical significance.

“South Australia holds a significant place in history for the Murdoch Empire. Here in Adelaide is where it all began when Murdoch inherited his father’s afternoon tabloid, The News. Here, in Adelaide, is where we will take it back.”

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