Our persistent supporters who take Green Left Weekly out into the street week after week (yes, even on the chilliest of winter days) have come up with a few more smiles, nods and words of encouragement as, out there in the corporate media, the billionaire bosses have been mercilessly wielding the axe and whip.
Our growing team of new volunteers around the Green Left TV project have also been warmly congratulated and encouraged. More people now appreciate the importance of the alternative media.
In typical 21st century corporate style the bad news that thousands of jobs in Fairfax and News Ltd will go over the next few years was delivered via a video messages posted on their media websites. This is calculated to send a wave of fear through their workforces: Which of us is going to have security tapping us on the shoulder and promptly escorting us out (also 21st century corporate-style)?
The Gina Rineharts and Rupert Murdochs of the world are very conscious that they wield both an axe and a whip. Cutting jobs to “restructure, reinvent and transform” their media empires is just business to them at one level but they make damn sure that they exploit to the hilt all the potential to terrorise their workers in the process.
This is all the more important in the media business which – as Rinehart the latest media mogul demonstrates in her bid for control of Fairfax – is not just about making money. Her billions would multiply much faster being kept in digging minerals out of the ground and shipping them to China! It is about power.
And when Rinehart refused to sign the charter of editorial independence she underlined this.
As the richest person in Australia (and the second richest woman in the world) Rinehart has more money than us ordinary mortals cam comprehend. Take this as a comparison. While our supporters worked hard to raise $84,130 for the raised so far this year for the Green Left Weekly fighting fund, Gina Rinehart’s wealth increased at a rate of nearly $600 per second last year. Two million dollars per hour.
A Green Left Weekly buyer said to me in the street: “What does that money really mean? Can she really spend it? Is it really worth anything if other people like us don’t work for her.”
That sums up the real social position of these billionaires. They are like the slave owners of old. Their fabulous wealth is made and given value by the sweat of the slaves. But the slaves need to feel the whip to keep slaving and that is why the billionaires and their CEOs become specialists in inflicting terror on their wage slaves.
In the media industry such terror is also used to get journalists to present and sometimes invent the “news” in the way that their bosses. In the various media empires, the public broadcasters included, regular threats increasingly instil and internalise a culture among journalists of delivering what is demanded to keep the job
It is only through permanent struggle that alternative media projects like Green Left Weekly maintain their independence and viability. The voluntary efforts of many people, not least our regular readers and (with GLTV) our viewers, is critical to this.
As billionaires Rinehart and Murdoch strike fear in the hearts of many as they “restructure” the mainstream media, you can hit back by chipping in online to the Green Left Weekly fighting fund and do your bit in the battle to tell the truth.
Direct deposits can also be made to Greenleft, Commonwealth Bank, BSB 062-006, Account No. 00901992. Otherwise, you can send a cheque or money order to PO Box 515, Broadway NSW 2007 or donate on the toll-free line at 1800 634 206 (within Australia).