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NEWS AND INFLUENCE July 17, 2011

Posted by wmmbb in Social Environment.
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Major news organizations are oligopolies, if not monopolies. News Ltd and its international affiliates is an example.

To compare two different news sites, for example BBC and Al Jazeera, is frequently to compare two different sets of news values, perhaps because there are different primary audiences.

So is the agenda promoted by these outlets significant and does it matter? Jeff Sparrow writing in Counter Punch notes:

In Australia, the Murdoch papers have issued condemnations of the shenanigans taking place in Britain, with News Limited chairman John Hartigan has launching a review of editorial expenditure to ensure that nothing similar has happened here. Yet there’s also been more than a few suggestions that the outrage about the News of the World also represents an elitist attack upon democracy.

‘Is the News empire at risk of selling out the Murdoch spirit that has helped to democratise the press and challenge the smug group-think of the Left?’ asked Andrew Bolt, the most prominent columnist in Australia’s biggest selling tabloid, the Herald-Sun. ‘Is Fox News next?’

At least, according to Jeff Sparrow, the Murdoch tabloid newspapers have encouraged scapegoating of people, for example refugees, by channeling the resentments of the working class (in my judgment a broad band of people, who are effectively disempowered). If so “the problem with Kansas” is more widespread that we might have imagined.

At The Independent, Ian Burrell and Oliver Wright reported on “Why Rupert had to get rid of his loyal lieutenant”. Referring to Rebekah Brooks, they write:

Fleet Street’s fiery Queen Bess was undone by an alignment of damaging developments that together represent a significant shift in the strategy designed to protect News Corp’s long-term reputation. The company this week hired the global public relations business Edelman to help tackle the crisis, and it appears to have demanded radical action.

The fatal blow appears to have been delivered by the Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, News Corp’s second biggest shareholder, who summoned the BBC on to his boat to tell them: “For sure she has to go, you bet she has to go.” Sources said it was inconceivable that Alwaleed would have made such a statement without having first conferred with the News Corp chairman.

Almost simultaneously, details leaked of discontent within the family. Elisabeth Murdoch, who recently returned to the News Corp fold when it bought her independent television production company Shine, had reportedly told “friends” that Ms Brooks – almost her sister in the eyes of father – had [badly damaged] the company.

Elisabeth and Rebekah were once close friends, or so we are told.The interesting observations to me are that a international news company sees the need to employ a public relations company to run their strategy. Furthermore, a major owner of the company is a Saudi Billionaire. Does that fact partially explain the anti-Carbon Tax campaign and the promotion of the invasion of Iraq?

ELSEWHERE:

At Media File (Reuters), Nicholas Wapshott makes clear that Murdoch personally runs the show – reinforced by the strategic control of the voting stock.

Comments»

1. Matthew Steeples - July 17, 2011

The plot really thickens. It has now been revealed that Elisabeth Murdoch and her husband Matthew Freud held a party the day before the Dowler revelations at their home, Burford Priory. Amongst the guests was one Andrew Davis, whose Von Essen hotel empire recently collapsed with debts of hundreds of millions. Read more about him at http://dasteepsspeaks.blogspot.com/2011/07/talented-mr-davis.html

2. Nicholas Wapshott - July 18, 2011

Matthew, the link to my Reuters piece isn’t working. Here it is: http://blogs.reuters.com/mediafile/2011/07/15/british-papers-may-be-murdochs-next-sacrificial-lamb/

wmmbb - July 18, 2011

Thanks Nicholas. I have fixed the link.


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