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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

a media baron « Previous | |Next »
July 9, 2006

Rupert Murdoch was recently named the most influential Australian of all time by the Bulletin -- despite being an American citizen. I scratched my head at that cultural cringe. Murdoch had relinquished his Australian citizenship in 1985 to become an American citizen, thereby allowing him to clear a legal hurdle that blocked non-citizens from owning US television stations.

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Steve Bell

Tthe media mogul describes himself as an "agent of change"; albeit one who detests public television--the ABC in Australia or the BBC in the UK. We are increasingly moving our lives online and connectivity -will become standard as a part of any media offering. The future for the world's giant media conglomerates is far from clear, with consumers migrating from old to new media, downloading movies and TV programmes over the internet, and abandoning paid-for newspapers in favour of online news sites. Murdoch is remodelling his sprawling media empire for the broadband age. Will Murdoch's newspapers survive the shift of readers going online to read news and features?

The general News Corp answer is that people have to know who to trust in a multichannel digiital world Since old established brands equal strong relationships, so we readers will continue to read Murdoch's newspapers. Trust Murdoch? Whose kidding who?

Murdoch has been historically significant in the evolution of the media and he has been an agent for change. He broke the hegemony of the unions at Wapping; introduced competition in the popular press" by taking on Hugh Cudlipp's Daily Mirror with a revitalised Sun in 1969; dragged the Times into the modern age" launched Sky television in 1989 and established Fox News in the US, which tapped into a conservative zeitgeist that the mainstream media had hitherto ignored.

Yet the success of the Sky satellite broadcaster, which dominates the pay-TV industry and has almost 8 million subscribers, is the last big move. Murdoch is playing catchp these days. His pay television in the UK--BSkyB is considering offering free internet access for its top-tier subscribers, who pay more than £40 a month for its premium sports and film channels.That aggressively undercuts other broadband packages.


| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 5:11 PM | | Comments (2)
Comments

Comments

Murdoch - the word is sort of close to murder if you ask me.
I think that the worst of the media is either owned by him or tries to emulate his various media "organs".
Fox is of course Murdoch to a "T".
I think of him as anti-democracy, anti-humanism, etc. He represents all that is wrong with the modern world.

Peter,

Murdoch has favoured a light-touch on regulation ---a rolling back of most regulation to ensure greater competition whilst protecting his interests in Foxtel. He wants media reform to ensure that he can strengthen his stranglehold on the Australian media.

Murdoch does see power moving away from the old elite in our industry - the editors, the chief executives and the proprietors as he understands that newsprint and ink will be just one of many channels for information flows to consumers.

Murdoch's historical legacy - how he fashioned media consumption and perfected a global business model - is historically significant. But the media landscape is changing and Murdoch is playing catchup to Google, which is forcing the mainstream media to rethink what they do with their content and threatens revenue streams once regarded as untouchable.

I guess we have to accept that there is a symbiotic and not always healthy relationship between the media and the policy-makers who govern them.

Continued support of the News Corp titles is supposed to be self-evident proof of the value of the special relationship. In a close election the support of News Corp will be courted assidiously.