Billionaires just took even greater control of the UK’s media. Corbyn had the perfect response.
The billionaire media’s opposition to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn so far in this election has been full on. But now, the Daily Mail‘s owner has bought yet another newspaper, concentrating the country’s media into even fewer hands. And Corbyn wasn’t about to let this go unnoticed, tweeting:
The billionaire owner of the Daily Mail, the Viscount Rothermere, has bought @theipaper.
Two billionaire press barons now own half of the top 10 daily newspapers.
Remember this when they attack Labour's plan to make the super-rich pay their fair share.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) November 29, 2019
Context is everything
An adviser to Conservative leader Boris Johnson recently spoke of “the big newspapers” attacking Labour “full on from the off” in this election. That has meant boosting anti-Corbyn bigots and warhawks. And the BBC has received particular criticism. Academic research, meanwhile, shows newspapers have been pushing a clear anti-Labour position so far.
This is no surprise, though. Because Corbyn’s taking on the ultra-rich to get justice for the general population. And as the Media Reform Coalition’s (MRC) 2019 report highlighted before the latest sale:
just three companies (News UK, Daily Mail Group and Reach) dominate 83% of the national newspaper market (up from 71% in 2015).
Around 80% of online media, meanwhile, sits with “just five companies (News UK, Daily Mail Group, Reach, Guardian and Telegraph)”. And as the MRC stressed:
Concentrated ownership creates conditions in which wealthy individuals and organisations can amass vast political and economic power and distort the media landscape to suit their interests.
British media is broken. That’s why we desperately need independent media.
With billionaire owners dominating, Britain’s media environment is clearly broken. And that’s incredibly dangerous. Because it has the power to shift the balance in the Tories’ favour. The Conservative Party, meanwhile, has received over £50m from around a third of Britain’s billionaires since 2005; and by 2023/24, it will reportedly have gifted these elites “tax breaks and corporate giveaways” to the tune of about £100bn since 2010. It’s also no secret that Rupert Murdoch‘s News UK, the Daily Mail Group, and the Telegraph are all bitterly opposed to Corbyn and his progressive politics.
Fortunately, many voters are fully aware that the mainstream media doesn’t even pretend to treat Corbyn fairly:
This woman is right that Jeremy doesn’t get a “fair deal” from the press.
Jeremy’s in it for the people. Johnson’s in it for himself and his powerful mates.
The right wing press are demonising a decent man for a reason. They like this rotten system. pic.twitter.com/thQ7Z20VPm
— Richard Burgon (@RichardBurgon) November 29, 2019
With all of this in mind, meanwhile, it’s no surprise that Corbyn believes in the importance of independent media. The Labour leader recently expressed his ‘strong support’ to The Canary, saying:
I absolutely welcome the role of independent media in the election and in our public discourse and our public life.
This is in part because, as he said, independent media outlets “don’t follow the herd instinct of the mainstream media”.
We all have immense power. Let’s use it.
Despite the opposition of the billionaire media and its political allies, Corbyn’s Labour has over 500,000 members and is offering bold, sensible policies to empower the majority of the population rather than the extremely wealthy few. Its manifesto also promises major media reform. That’s why the ultra-rich are afraid of Corbyn: because he represents real change. And that’s why our billionaire media is working so hard to stop him. But on 12 December, voters have a real chance to shut that dodgy operation down once and for all.
Featured image via Sophie Brown
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