Half a million sign Kevin Rudd’s petition for Royal Commission into Murdoch media monopoly

“A cancer on democracy”: last month Kevin Rudd launched a national petition demanding a Royal Commission into the Murdoch media monopoly.

On October 11, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd launched a national petition calling for a Royal Commission into Rupert Murdoch’s media dominance in Australia.

The petition clearly struck a chord with the nation, and after closing yesterday (November 4), it had garnered a massive 501,876 signatures.

kevin rudd murdoch petition royal commission
Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Accompanying his announcement of the petition, Kevin Rudd released a video outlining the reasons for the commission, including the dangers of Rupert Murdoch’s current stronghold on the Australian media.

“I’m launching an official petition to the Australian Parliament, calling on Parliament to establish a Royal Commission into the abuse of media monopoly in Australia,” Rudd described.

“And in particular by the Murdoch media and to make recommendations to maximise media diversity ownership for the future lifeblood of our democratic system.”

Currently, the Murdoch-owned News Corp accounts for nearly two-thirds of metropolitan media circulation, a circumstance which has led to Australia having one of the highest levels of media ownership concentration in the world.

News Corp owns the likes of The Australian, the Daily Telegraph, the Herald Sun, and the Courier Mail, as well as numerous overseas publications including The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post in the United States, and Britain’s The Sun and The Times.

Kevin Rudd has accused Murdoch of abusing his media monopoly in order to maximise his own political power and commercial interests, bullying anyone who holds alternate views.

“In 18 of the last 18 federal and state elections, we’ve seen the Murdoch media campaign viciously against the Labour Party and viciously in support of the Liberal and National parties,” Rudd described.

The petition gained so much traction after it was announced, that Rudd made another video revealing that some people were having trouble signing due to the high amount of traffic. The petition was even supported by a fellow ex-prime minister on the other side of politics: the Liberals’ Malcolm Turnbull.

Yet Rudd also suffered some fallout from the petition, with NewsCorp predictably running numerous smear campaigns against the former PM. These included allegations that Rudd was connected to Jeffrey Epstein, in the form of donations from the disgraced financier to an international think tank whose board he presided over. Rudd has denied having any knowledge that these donations came from Epstein.

With the petition now finished, unfortunately, there is currently no obligation for it to be raised in parliament –especially without the political power of a major party behind it.

“It will take some time to convince the Labor party that it’s in their interest as well,” Rudd described, according to The Guardian. “That will be influenced directly by the volume of public support.”

Nevertheless, with the support of more than half a million Aussies, the petition has well and truly brought the issue to the forefront of public consciousness.