News Corp has now acquired a 14.99 per cent interest in APN News & Media which owns a number of print and digital newspaper publications on the NSW North Coast and elsewhere in Australia and New Zealand, including some of this region's oldest mastheads such as The Daily Examiner and The Northern Star.
This percentage of ordinary shares not only makes it a substantial shareholder, it is likely to place News Corp (and Murdoch family interests) in the top three* shareholders in this media company.
There is no way of softening this - basically any hope of editorial independence and unbiased reporting continuing into the future has all but disappeared for most of our local media, along with the possibility of retaining any genuine local viewpoint on contentious social, environmental or political issues.
Two years from now what newsagent delivery vans throw onto people's front lawns will more than likely be a poor man's version of that Sydney ragThe Daily Telegraph.
* The Daily Examiner reported on 19 March that News Corp was in fact now APN's largest shareholder.