Min­ing bil­lion­aire buys into Fair­fax

Why is a min­ing mag­nate worth $Us18bn buy­ing huge chunks of Aus­tralian me­dia?

Element - - Global Bulletin -

En­vi­ron­men­tal­ists’ alarm bells are ring­ing across the Tas­man with the news that Gina Rine­hart, an Aus­tralian min­ing mag­nate, has be­come the sin­gle largest share­holder of Fair­fax me­dia. The com­pany into which she has in­vested owns the Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald and the Age in Melbourne, along with many news­pa­pers in New Zealand in­clud­ing the Sun­day Star Times.

Rine­hart made her money – es­ti­mated by Forbes to be $Us18bn – in the Pil­bara re­gion, which is rich in iron ore. Her in­vest­ment in Fair­fax means she now owns 13% of the com­pany.

Speak­ing to the Guardian in the UK, Adele Fer­gu­son, a se­nior fi­nan­cial jour­nal­ist for Fair­fax, and cur­rently work­ing on Rine­hart’s un­of­fi­cial bi­og­ra­phy, said: “I think her move into Fair­fax is a power play. She’s prob­a­bly hop­ing to get some ed­i­to­rial in­flu­ence, even if it’s a per­cep­tion thing. Jour­nal­ists might think twice about what they are writ­ing about her if she is the com­pany’s big­gest share­holder.”

Rine­hart also re­cently ac­quired a 10% stake (and a seat on the board) in the com­mer­cial tele­vi­sion net­work, Ten.

Rine­hart is known to be skep­ti­cal of cli­mate change, last year help­ing fund the visit of well known cli­mate de­nier Lord Mon­ck­ton.

The news of Rine­hart’s ac­qui­si­tion has spurred Aus­tralian ac­tivist group Getup! to raise money for a me­dia cam­paign against her. A full page ad­ver­tise­ment (pic­tured above) paid for by Aus­tralians op­pos­ing the ac­quis­tion has run in the Melbourne Age, and satirises the pos­si­ble out­come of min­ing in­dus­try in­flu­ence. The ‘ed­its’ re­quested in­clude chang­ing out one picture of an im­age of Lord Mon­ck­ton, and neg­a­tive head­lines about the min­ing in­dus­try are changed to glow­ing en­dorse­ments.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.