Murdoch claims independent journalism threatened by “dominant” BBC. 

28 August 2009

BBC News: Murdoch attack on ‘dominant’ BBC

So James Murduch, the head of NewsCorp in Europe, says a dominant BBC damages independent journalism in the UK.

The hypocrisy of that statement is positively drooling out of his mouth even as he says it.

NewsCorp has never been interested in independent journalism. All they are interested in is making sure that the conservative viewpoint is the dominant viewpoint. All other viewpoints are to be disparaged, dismissed, and generally made fun of. To them, there is only one truth, the one they manufacture to fit their own prejudices, whether it happens to fit the facts or not.

It gets better! Giving the MacTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival, he said “The expansion of state-sponsored journalism is a threat to the plurality and independence of news provision.”

He said this no sense of being a hypocrite, no sense of irony, seemingly no sense of anything. If he had, he wouldn’t have said what he said.

News provision has been dominated by conservative media over the years, especially in newspapers. UK newspapers are predominantly conservative in political bias, and that bias has been getting steadily more pronounced over the years, especially since the 1990s.

Broadcast news has less choice, with BBC, Sky and ITN basically dominating the market, and no other provider really stepping up to the plate since the demise of BSB back in 1990.

NewsCorp really wants to dominate news provision over here, in the way that FOX News Channel dominates cable news in the US. They see the BBC as a barrier to that kind of dominance, a barrier that doesn’t exist in the same way in the US.

There’s another fact that renders his statement factually incorrect. You’re reading it. A blog. There are millions of them, across the world. There is also Twitter, which I consider to be the digest version of the blog. Tweets of no more than 140 characters, meaning you have to be very concise with your text.

If I were to tweet this, it would come out something like “Murdoch says BBC threatens independent journalism. Massive hypocrisy, blogs and tweets are the new independent journalism.” That comes out at 123 characters. You’d be surprised what you can say in 140 characters or less.

Blogs and tweets are the new independent journalism that anyone can do, and best of all, anyone can read you. My own blogs and tweets have been followed and read by state governments, multinational companies, broadcasters, and politicians. I can’t pretend that I am a major influence, but it is fascinating to know these people are interested enough in what you write to read it.

So you see, it just goes to prove that James Murdoch’s statement was not only factually wrong, but way behind the times. Sky is not the new kid on the block anymore. There are media moguls a plenty out there on the web, and some of them may well be the next Rupert Murdoch in the next 10-20 years.

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Liverpool, Wednesday 22 May 2024