Asia Pacific Media Educator


This paper discusses the issue of pluralism in the Australian print media and analyses Australian newspaper ownership from 1986 to 2000. It does so for three reasons: to identify who owns what at the start of the 21st century; to gain a view on trends in newspaper ownership concentration; and to gauge newspaper circulation trends, particularly in regard to arguments that newspaper circulations face a ‘long-term decline’. While evidence appears to discount this, the analysis concurs with the dominant academic viewpoint that the Australian print media industry is concentrated within a few owners and these owners have formed a powerful press oligopoly. It concludes that the Australian press oligopoly is maintained by the economic system that supports it, by economies of scale, by globalism, by the justification and maintenance of the oligopoly by newspaper owners themselves, and by political support for those owners at the highest level.