Gina Rinehart: Climate Denier to run NZs newspapers
Why should you care about Gina Rinehart? You should care about Gina Rinehart because this mining billionaire represents the most dangerous threat on editorial control of our news media our part of the world has seen since Robert Muldoon.
Her desire to buy a controlling stake in Fairfax so that she can sack editors is chilling because it follows a path of media censorship on the issue of climate change. Rinehart is a climate denier, her industry faces environmental restrictions and taxes, and Rinehart wants the media to kill off news about man made pollution as a cause of climate change.
Rinehart is taking a direct leaf out of climate denial artist Lord Monkton's suggestion of buying up the media to kill off the debate that he gave Australians during his visit in a private meeting with their biggest polluters...
...the fight for editorial control by Rinehart is just the latest blow to media freedoms inflicted upon some of our media by Fairfax in their push for corporate profit return over their obligations of watch dog.
Fairfax paid $1.88 billion in 2003 for Independent Newspapers Ltd's press and magazine stable and picked up Trade Me 3 years later for $700million. From the onset, Fairfax's profit drive led to a deterioration in media structures the private world had propped up out of a sense of obligation. They withdrew from the NZPA's polling system in 2006 and in 2008 launched businessday.co.nz drawing content from non-NZPA sources like The Independent, stuff.co.nz, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Melbourne Age.
In 2008 Fairfax created news hubs in Wellington and Christchurch while laying off 160 staff and killed off the NZPA in 2011 by pulling out of the co-operative ownership agreement with APN sounding the death knell to one of the country's most important news gathering structures.
The machinations of Fairfax in the NZ media environment have already allowed the commercial pressures of profit maximization to deteriorate our news media. The possibility that a climate denier like Gina Rhinehart now wants editorial dominance to censor what's left of that deteriorated news service should alarm every NZer.