Saturday, August 29, 2009


Murdoch Assault on Beeb Must be Resisted

It's a strange thing about bullies: they don't, as Corporal Jones would have it, 'like it up 'em'. So I was not surprised that James Murdoch, the Chair and Chief Executive of News Corporation, and son of its founding genius, Rupert, should have devoted his McTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh Festival to a frontal attack on the BBC.

He aimed one of his darts at the Beeb's claim to be unbiased

“The effect of the system is not to curb bias – bias is present in all news media – but simply to disguise it

True that bias is present in all news but the BBC has established a worldwide reputation for reporting the truth, unlike the Murdoch owned Fox News. For example, if a thousand demonstrators had been attacked and many killed in China, we'd expect the BBC to report that fact- they might even despatch kate Adie to go and investigate. However, Murdoch's operation has deliberately pulled news items which have appeared unpalatable to the Chinese leadership in order to prevent business interests in that rapidly expanding country, being damaged. Which would you rather?

James- who looks eerily like our very own Brainbox David Miliband- also attacks the Beeb for bucking the markets: The BBC represents, for him:

“an impingement on freedom of speech and on the right of people to choose what kind of news to watch.”

Now I'm no knee jerk leftie who abominates the market but I tend to think- and redcent events in the international economy would support this- that unregulated markets can implode into chaos. In the news media allowing markets free rein encourages pursuit of the lowest common denominator of public taste, where vulgarity and sensationalism triumph over measured, informed journalism. Example? Look no further than our best selling 'newspaper', The Sun. At least the BBC, seeks to address civilised values: to educate as well as entertain and titivate. Which would you choose: the Today Programme or the journalism of the The Sun and News of the World?

Why is young James doing all this, and with such passion? Because he hates the fact the BBC has long been an obstruction to his father's attempts to dominate and subdue the british media scene. And, of course, because it offers a huge internatiional obstacle to his father's latest attempt to stem the haemorrhage of income to News Corporation by charging for online news. As long as the BBC offers the world such a service, this income is unlikely to flow in any great amounts. My reaction to the message is very similar to a Sun headline: Up Yours Murdoch!

I think you have missed Murdoch's point Skipper. It doesn't matter if you like the BBC or SKY. The truth is that SKY(and many others) stand or fall on the strength of their programming and news. If you don't like them, you don't watch them. And more importantly, you don't pay for them.

The BBC like the NHS are a beloved national institution, although perhaps not as beloved by the British public as the leftie media. But the situation is unfair. I dislike the vast majority of their programming. And I see their news as biased and offensive. I would never subscribe to such a service. And yet, because I choose to subscribe to other channels(including many of Murdoch's), people like me are forced by law to pay a "licence fee", a euphemism for a "TV tax" - I should add that aged 31, I have never bought a TV licence for any of my houses, and encourage all my relatives to do the same. The BBC exists regardless of what its viewers thinks. It becomes more ambitious by the year, infringing on markets that it was never founded to do.

Don't watch Sky if you don't like it. But don't expect me to pay for your BBC.
Well the way it's going we have no choice but to watch Sky I've got two grandson who watch sports football and Rugby I've no option but to buy SKY since I cannot get BT or Virgin.

But did I not here the media was going to charge people on the INTERNET for getting the news, and did I not hear the BBC say it would be doing it for free, annoying this bunch
Murdoch is wrong in assuming the current business model of news on the web is flawed yet spot on in his criticisms of the BBC. I suggest you stop paying your licence whilst at the same time making a rather loud noise that explains your reason for not paying is the sheer unfairness of the current arrangements. Nothing will happen - I haven't paid for two years. Anyway, nice to be back - I've been working in the south of Spain most of the summer and am now back to complete my degree.
The bbc only tell you the news that they believe you need to know and that promotes their agenda. Yet due to the internet they are forced to spend more time formulating their slanted viewpoint based on facts.
National news, like Strawman denying any cover up on the release of convicted murderer, is given a positive viewpoint, while news from abroad, including Afghanistan, is horribly biased to their current agenda.
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