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Media ownership and the threat to Western democracy.

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Media ownership and the threat to Western democracy.

Western democracy is under threat. The trusted system of governance is under threat from concentrated media ownership and the influence of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, and the impact can be seen in countries such as the United States of America, The United Kingdom and Australia. Murdoch’s dominance of the media landscape in these countries has a strong influence on political elections, national ideology, cultural development and the opposition between personal interest and public interest.

Australia has some of the most concentrated media ownership in the world. News Corp currently owns 59% of the metropolitan and national print media markets by readership. Nine Entertainment has a combined 23% readership share.

In addition, News Corp, Nine, and Seven Media Holdings attract 80% of Australian free-to-air and subscription TV revenues. News Corp picks up 40% alone. News Corp, Nine and Southern Cross Media (and their associated entities) — control almost 90% of radio licences across the country. According to Australian activist group GetUp, “…the predominance of News Corp in cross-media settings is unprecedented in liberal democracies.”

How did this happen?

In 2017, The Australian government repealed the ‘two-out-of-three rule’, which had prevented corporations from owning media in television, radio and print. News Corp and other corporations now own media across three platforms. Meanwhile, more than $600 million was cut from the ABC over the past seven years. In the decade to 2023/24, the Coalition will have cut the national broadcaster’s budget by just over $1 billion.

News Corp influences political elections. Murdoch is credited with helping Donald Trump to victory in the 2017 US presidential election, and with driving Brexit. In Australia, Murdoch’s most notable creation is ScoMo.

ScoMo is the public persona of the recently-ousted prime minister Scott Morrison. ScoMo was created to pivot the Liberal National Party from Malcolm Turnbull, who was regarded as unpopular with blue collar and fringe voters. ScoMo deposed Turnbull as leader and was created to win the votes of the blue collar and fringe voters.

Scott Morrison grew up in the affluent Eastern Suburbs, where he attended an academically-selective high school, then university. ScoMo was a beer-swilling, rugby league loving man of the people who was photographed endlessly in the Murdoch press in high-vis and hard hats. Favourable coverage of ScoMo, and News Corp’s criticism of the opposition across television, radio and newspapers, contributed to Morrison’s victory in the ‘unwinnable’ election in 2019.

News Corp’s contribution to Morrison’s victory actually began when Morrison moved from the Eastern Suburbs to The Shire in 2007. Morrison lost the preselection ballot for the federal seat of Cook. However, local Murdoch press ran a nasty smear campaign against the winner of that ballot, and in the subsequent ballot Morrison was appointed to contest the seat of Cook.

ScoMo was also presented as an everyday Australian and is Caucasian, male, middle-aged and a devoted Christian. However, recent census statistics indicate that almost half of Australians have a parent born overseas, and that Christianity is on the decline in Australia. In this way, News Corp and the pro-ScoMo mainstream media cling to a false notion of true national identity, and perpetuate this erroneous image through the concentration of media ownership.

News Corp owns newspapers in every major city, in smaller cities and in regional areas, and this dominance is criticised for the impact on the ability of everyday people to access and participate in robust democratic debate.

The concentration of mainstream media ownership and its impact on society prompted the largest e-petition in Australia’s parliamentary history. The 2020 petition, initiated by former Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd, called for a parliamentary inquiry into the state of media diversity, independence and reliability in Australia. It collected more than 500,000 signatures from everyday Australians. Rudd was also concerned about Nine Entertainment taking over Fairfax publications such as The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

News Corp has also been heavily criticised for its coverage of many contentious social issues, including climate change and COVID-19.

Australia has the highest per-capita carbon footprint of any nation on earth, but News Corp coverage has been found to question the climate crisis. A 2020 report labelled Lies, Debates, and Silences: How News Corp produces climate scepticism in Australia (Wendy Bacon, Arunn Jegan) revealed the following statistics between April 2019 and March 2020.

45% of all News Corp climate coverage expressed scepticism in the reality of climate change. 65% of opinion pieces were sceptical towards climate science. Of the 55% of stories that accepted climate science, there was negligible reporting of the findings of climate scientists or the impacts of climate change.

At this time, Australia was living through its worst bushfire season on record.

The opposition between public and personal interest also played out in the Murdoch press in the three aforementioned countries, especially in regard to COVID-19. News Corp launched fierce campaigns to protect ‘personal liberty’ in opposition to public health measures aimed at curbing the virus and saving lives. Specifically, News Corp outlets argued for governments to prematurely lift lockdowns, calling the measures ‘health fascism’. Commentators also disputed the expertise of epidemiologists and public health experts, and spread misleading and unproven theories on how to respond to COVID-19, such as “herd immunity”.

Highly concentrated media ownership represents a threat to democracy in countries such as the USA, The UK and Australia. The primary threat to diverse opinions comes from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, which is proven to influence political elections, divide public and private interests, and threaten social cohesion.

By Kieran Blake

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6 Home Remedies to Relieve TMJ Pain

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6 Home Remedies to Relieve TMJ Pain

Talking, laughing, smiling, and chewing are all jaw movements that you make daily without much thought. However, these simple movements can cause much pain if you have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ). TMJ Leander discomfort may have a significant impact on your quality of life.

Teeth grinding is a common cause of temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJD), which can cause chronic pain and stiffness in the jaw, among other symptoms. There are a variety of therapies available to assist you to ease your discomfort.

Here are some home remedies to treat TMJ;

1.  Eat soft meals

 To prevent your jaws from overworking, eat soft meals like mashed potatoes, yogurt, mashed potatoes, soup, cottage cheese, salmon,   scrambled eggs, cooked fruits and vegetables, beans, and grains. Avoid Hard and crunchy foods (such as pretzels, hard rolls, and raw carrots) and chewy foods (like taffy and caramels). In addition, avoid chewing gum.

2.      Wear a bite guard

A bite guard (also known as a stabilizing splint) can protect your teeth from clenching or grinding. Bite guards are typically made of plastic, and they fit over your lower and upper teeth to keep them from rubbing together. Bite guards come in various styles; for example, you can wear a firm or soft bite guard.

Consult your physician or dentist to determine how long you should wear the bite guard. If the bite guard is causing you discomfort or changing the way you bite, stop using it immediately and consult your doctor.

3.  Use heat or cold therapy

Applying wet, warm heat packs or ice packs to your jaw might assist in relaxing the muscles in your face and jaw. Your doctor will tell you how long to leave the ice pack or heat pack on and where to put them.

4.      Learn to manage stress

Stress is one of the leading causes of TMJ. When people are worried, they tend to clench their jaws unconsciously throughout the day. If you are stressed, go for a walk daily to clear your thoughts, write down your concerns in a notebook, talk to a psychologist, try yoga, meditate, or soak in a bubble bath. Make every effort to relax and enjoy yourself.

5.      Limit jaw movement

Your jaw may strain your jaw if you yawn, scream, or sing at the top of your lungs frequently. To give your Temporomandibular a respite from movement, try to limit any severe jaw motions in your daily life. This may help to alleviate some of your discomforts.

6.      Try acupuncture or massage therapy

TMJ discomfort can also be relieved with acupuncture. The acupuncturist will insert needles in places surrounding your jaw and other areas to ease pain and enhance jaw function, enabling you to open your mouth easily. In addition, gently rubbing your TMJ joint can also help ease up the muscles surrounding your jaw and relieve pain.

Temporomandibular joint disorders may cause severe headaches, grinding and locking in your jaws, ringing in your ears, and neck pain. Fortunately, you may treat TMJ pain using home remedies. However, if the pain persists, you should seek further medical treatment. Contact Pendleton Orthodontics to book your appointment for TMJ treatment.

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Benefits of Regularly Visiting a General Practitioner

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Benefits of Regularly Visiting a General Practitioner

Regularly seeing a primary care physician may positively impact your health. Your trusted general practitioner (GP), Dr. Kalpana Desai is well-versed in dealing with various medical conditions and may tailor treatment to meet your requirements. You have a solid partnership when you have a long-term connection with a professional who treats the person, not just the condition. There are several additional reasons why it is a good idea to have a regular general practitioner, including:

Someone who understands you

GPs are typically the initial point of contact for your health. Having a regular GP gives them the chance to know you and develop a better grasp of your medical history. Every time you go to the doctor, you do not have to describe your medical history. The more often someone sees their primary care physician, the more likely they are to be open and honest with their doctor about their health. They believe that their concerns are taken into account.

An experienced general practitioner (GP) will be able to spot any problems with your health right away and recommend the right course of action. As soon as a problem becomes severe, persistent, or even life-threatening to the patient, the doctor takes measures to prevent it.

Integrated health care

If you have a medical problem that necessitates the participation of additional health care providers, your general practitioner is your primary point of contact. If a medical expert or allied health practitioners like a psychologist or podiatrist is necessary, this might be the first step.

Advice on health and wellness from a professional

Your general practitioner is your best bet when diagnosing and treating different health-related issues. In addition, they are likely to be the initial point of contact for most health difficulties you encounter in your lifetime. In addition to treating colds and flu, they are one of the most acceptable sources of science-based advice on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and avoiding illness in the first place!

A complete medical history kept in one place

Every time you see a local doctor, they take down essential information about your health, such as your family medical history, results of medical tests, prescriptions for drugs, allergies, etc. Regularly seeing your doctor ensures that your medical history is thorough, accurate, and up-to-date. When you visit your doctor, they will consult your medical file, and if you have been to more than one doctor, your information spreads out. As a consequence, your medical issues may be misdiagnosed and treated inappropriately.

General practitioners can identify and treat a wide range of common health issues. They might refer you to specialists if your problem is outside their practice area.

Accessibility

Because regular doctors are accessible at times convenient to you, you will have to wait less time for an appointment with them. You can expect to be seen within a few hours after seeking an appointment with a regular GP rather than a few days. Patients should expect to be seen on time by most frequent GPs, and the time spent in the waiting area will be substantially less than when visiting a different doctor.

You and your family’s health and well-being are best served by seeing a general practitioner regularly. Choosing a GP may be a complex process that requires a lot of trial and error. Finding a doctor with whom you are comfortable and who can work on your health for the long term is critical.

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What They Did Not Tell You About Sleep Apnea

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What They Did Not Tell You About Sleep Apnea

Do you know that sleep is equally important as a healthy diet? For wholesome health, you need a goodnight’s sleep. Therefore, if you are not sleeping as recommended, you expose yourself to various health issues. Pain and stress can keep you from sleeping. However, sleep apnea is a dangerous condition that can make you dread sleep. Chase Dental Sleepcare specialists will treat you if you have sleep apnea symptoms and help you get the sleep you have been missing. Therefore in this article, you will learn astonishing facts about sleep apnea.

·         Did You Know That You Can Develop Sleep Adverse Brain

Do you know that most sleep apnea people go undiagnosed and treated throughout their lifetime? If you have had sleep apnea and are not considered seeing a doctor, you can develop a sleep adverse brain. Once you are asleep, the airway becomes obstructed, and your brain responds by waking you up so you can breathe. So you will find every night you will wake up several times to gasp for air. With time, the brain becomes conditioned to keep you from sleeping because sleep makes your body lack enough oxygen because of sleep apnea. Therefore, you will find that you have insomnia where you cannot fall asleep at night.

·         It Severely Shortens Your Life

Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition that, if left untreated, shortens your life. When you cannot breathe during sleep, your body does not have sufficient oxygen. Deprivation of oxygen can cause a low heartbeat. You can suffocate, and if no one recognizes that you are not breathing in good time, you will lose your life. Also, if the brain becomes conditioned to recognize insufficient oxygen, your body reacts to establish a balance every time. The body releases the release of trigger hormones and sugars. With time, you discover you have Type 2 diabetes because the body releases too much insulin. Besides diabetes, you run the risk of suffering from life-threatening cardiovascular diseases.

·         It Poses A danger To You and Others

Because of sleep apnea, you can have irregular sleeping or insomnia. Your inability to sleep during the night will cause you to experience sleepiness during the day. If you drive yourself and fall asleep, you become a hazard to yourself and others using the road. You will cause an accident because you cannot control the vehicle. The accident can cost your life and the life of other road users. Also, if you function in a production site where you have to control machines, you can fall asleep and forget about the machine. The machine will either overheat or produce undesired quantities and quality goods. You can also get injured by the same machine.

Millions of people suffer from sleep apnea, making it important to see a doctor if you snore or have irregular sleeping during the night. The Chase Dental Sleepcare facility purely deals with the sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. If you are experiencing trouble sleeping, book an appointment today before too late.

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