Rudd political journalism

Rudd political journalism is focussed on the impact on his career of Australian political journalism.

Rudd has written a range of journalist contributions. The article in "The Monthly" in January 2009 was an important work in this field. The work he did as a contributor to "The Courier Mail" was also important. These were relevant documents in getting his political views recorded and available for academics to review and understand. Rudd political journalism is, however, not focussed on his writing major policy papers. Rudd's work as a journalist for a Rupert Murdoch controlled media outlet is a vital factor in this matter for different reasons.

Rudd political journalism highlights THE most controversial aspect of Australian political reality.

The political leadership of Australia has been controlled by the media moguls since the 1960's.


Australia has had a series of very rich and powerful media moguls. While there have been other media moguls from time to time, the control of the media has been very clearly within the Packer, Fairfax and Murdoch families from the 1960's until today (2010). While others have made some money from media in Australia, these three families (or more particular, the dominant male of the time) have had influence on the government of the day ranging from very strong influence to almost total control. Frank and Kerry Packer and Keith and Rupert Murdoch are four people who have had untold influence over Australian government - without any justifiable basis for doing so.

A detailed analysis is often difficult as the information that is reported is clearly biased. Despite the bias, the information that is reported fails to hide the basis for assertions of control.

The recent outbursts of "Google bashing" by Rupert Murdoch underlie his real concern - which is that ordinary citizens would have the capacity to obtain news that is not controlled by him (or his closely aligned "competitors).


In the day to day thrust of the media, it is very easy to ignore what is happening in a political sense. However, many Australians want to be informed about matters of relevance to them. While the vast majority could not care, there are significant sectors of the Australian electorate who are interested in learning about foreign trade, foreign affairs, cultural and scientific advancement, education and health. These people wish to receive that information without the bias or misunderstanding that has been the tradition of Australian journalism.

In order to counter the increasingly informed population, the media moguls have taken to making more determined strategies for maintaining their control. As these strategies are implemented, the reality behind them is also becoming more apparent.

The rise and fall of Kevin Rudd is a classic case in point. Rudd political journalism is about where the real power is in Australia.

THE RISE. In 1996, Rupert Murdoch employed Kevin Rudd who was then an unemployed and shattered political loser. The relationship, through Chris Mitchell, continued to grow until after Rudd's elevation as Prime Minister in 2007. The other very significant event in the Murdoch-Rudd development was on 21 April 2007, when Kevin Rudd dined with Rupert Murdoch in New York, following a one-hour private meeting at Murdoch's News Corporation Building.The two men refused to say what they had discussed. Mr Murdoch would say only that they had discussed "a lot of things". Rudd would say only: "It was just a good chat about things. Life, the world, politics." Refer to Wikipedia under Rupert Murdoch and Political Activities. Is it strange that there is no mention of Murdoch employment in any of the Rudd profiles? Two other very significant situations deserve comment. Firstly, the comment that Kevin Rudd made to an ALP meeting in his Griffith electorate immediately after his return (and some six months before his election on 3rd December) which was "I can assure you now that I will win the election." For those who know how Rudd, this was a major change of style. Secondly, a study of Rudd's photos before and after that trip show a distinctly happy face - that was significantly different to the face in previous photographs.

THE FALL. During the later part of 2009, a number of incidents indicated a growing separation between the Murdoch controlled media and Rudd. These included the overheard (by Chris Mitchell) Bush conversation. September still saw a meeting at the top - between Murdoch and Rudd for about three hours. From then on, it was a downward spiral and "The Austrlian" lead the Rudd attack on many fronts. The viciousness of the anti-mining tax reporting made clear where the drive was originating. The consistency of anti-Rudd message was getting to the opinion polls by April - and the first removal of a first term Prime Minister was all over by June. While the actual removal was done by ALP Members of Parliament, the decision to remove Rudd was apparently made in New York in late 2009 or early 2010.

Rudd political journalism includes Rudd's understanding of what was happening. Was the critical importance of support from Rupert Murdoch something to which Kevin Rudd was unaware? No! In 2006, he was criticised in an ALP meeting for supporting American foreign policy and his response was to the effect that "I will not be elected without the support of New York". The reference was definitely New York - not Washington!

If you wish to become involved in Australian politics, then Rudd political journalism is important reading. It is vital you understand this control of the media moguls. The situation for past politicians has been that they can only gain and remain in power while they have the general support of the media moguls. The media moguls have a fairly consistent political poisition. It is considered "mainstream" but is to the right of the Australian population. It particularly focuses on hypocrisy as a key value. As a result, there is support for "family values" while little is done about child abuse and pornography, there is little support for the disadvantaged and thee is very strong support for the "establishment" (including Christian Churches, the military etc) regardless of their behaviour.

In addition to serious consideration and research surrounding the influence of the Austalian media, you should also take the opportunity to understand other areas as you progress through the Politics How To and Succeed in Politics sections.

Challenge your knowledge on key issues - and contemplate some different views. Feel free to join the future updates through the RSS feed or by opting-in for email updates.

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