[Published 7 Feb on ABC’s The Drum Opinion.]
Gina Rinehart’s evident intention to own large chunks of our media is focussing many minds on the question of media ownership. However most of the discussion does not properly recognise the special role of the media in our society, and canvasses only variations on concentrated ownership by very rich people, usually with an implication that ownership by government is the only alternative.
The media are the means of social conversation in large societies. They deserve to be accorded special status, like the courts. Ownership could be widely distributed among those served by each outlet.