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OP/ED: The Future of Britain's Independent Media.

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posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 06:32 AM
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Britons Beware ! That self-satifying smugness that you have felt over the last five years when watching the politically tame U.S media may soon be a distant fond memory."It could never happen in the UK." has been a frequent repost when families have gathered around the TV watching the toothless US media fail again and again to ask the most probing of questions. "We have an enviable record of independent journalism and we have the BBC." is a common retort.
 


But anyone with eyes to see will spot the slow drip drip of anti-BBC stories recently as the BBC once again heads into it's charter review next year. Leading the attack against this bastion of independent journalism which is respected around the world is Rupert Murdoch and anyone who has witnessed his perfidious record to date should be alarmed at recent developments.

The BBC, unlike most broadcasters, is funded by an annual tax in the form of a televion licence fee. Every household in the UK with one or more televions pays £126.50 annually which raises as much as £4.2 billion every year. No government can touch this money. This money not only pays for free to view televion without commercials, including BBC 1, BBC 2, BBC 3, BBC 4, Childrens BBC, BBC News but also atleast 4 national radio stations, a myriad of local radio stations, and of course the world famous BBC world service and ofcourse the BBC is also online. All of this is paid from this £126.50 annually per household.

Naturally, Mr Murdoch doesn't like this set-up. Murdoch, the owner of News Corporation, has begun to lay the groundwork for an all-out assault on the BBC and the annual fee. While they will probably not be able to eliminate it entirely, their endless attacks, slanted polls, and political pressuring may well result in a lessening of the amount the BBC gets annually, thus weakening the BBC as a 'public' competitor to all private interests, but especially to the multi-channel news and entertainment network BSkyB. In short why buy the Murdoch owned BSkyB package when you can get the BBC for free. Eliminate the BBC from the lucrative cable medium and you can imagine the profits that would roll in.

And our Government ? Unfortunately, they do not share the same pride that the public takes in the BBC. Instead they look across the Atlantic and see the toothless U.S media and dream wistfully, if only they had such a fawning media. You see independent and unbias reporting has sadly become the only effective opposition in our country and the government don't want unbias reporting they want the BBC to be a government mouthpiece something it was specifically created not to be and something it still fights with vigour.

And so in the absence of a publically owned government mouthpiece Rupert Murdoch has put his media empire at the disposal of Tony Blair. If you want to find out how the government want you to perceive international and domestic events then you can do no better than buy The Sun (The largest selling British Tabloid), The Times, or watch Sky News. This Faustian deal has meant that these media outlets are never short of tame interviews with cabinet ministers and if there is a leak you can be sure that it'll be The Sun Wot Got It. Remember that a Cabinet Minister leaked a "spun" synopsis of the long awaited Hutton Report on the eve of it's official publication and that the Murdoch media empire led the attack on the BBC that followed. No one was found guilty of that leak and it is by a long way not the only one.

Recently, the attacks on the BBC have been stepped up. An investigation by The Sunday Times last week revealed a supposed policy of "product placement" which was branded as advertising and commercialism. I say "supposed policy" because the inference was never quite proved but if you pile enough crap on a brand name even like the BBC some of it will stick.

Rupert Mudoch was glibly indescreet at a public meeting the other day when he recalled a conversation with Tony Blair which inevitably was widely reported in the Murdoch press.


"Tony Blair - perhaps I shouldn't repeat this conversation - told me yesterday that he was in Delhi last week. And he turned on the BBC World service to see what was happening in New Orleans,"

"And he said it was just full of hate of America and gloating about our troubles. And that was his Government. Well, his Government-owned thing,"


Our Troubles ???

The BBC have stated that they have received no complaint from Number 10 Downing Street. I watched most of the BBC coverage and personally I don't know what Blair is talking about but I'm sure the impression will linger in American minds that the BBC is "Anti-American"

But let's get all this straight. This has nothing to do with media integrity and everything to do money and influence.

No one likes paying the BBC license fee, and the BBC is not perfect, no public organisation of it's size can be.

But as the song goes "You don't know what you've got til it's gone." Just ask an American.

Being informed and understanding exactly what is going on is the only safe guard you have against this insidious propaganda. Having read this you too should be able to watch for it in the run up to the BBC Charter review.




posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 06:55 AM
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Murdoch is talking about " our troubles" and the BBC being full of anti-american propaganda................... since WHEN is Rupert Murdoch an american????????

Last I checked he was born and raised in Australia. No wonder his son told him to stuff it and left to go live in Sydney and work for someone else.

This is a scary scary thing to see......... this, as I have said before, is against everything people in WW2 died to protect.

First they want to lock people up for 3 months without trial........ now this .

Can anyone else hear the jackboots?



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 07:32 AM
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Rupert Murdoch has been an American ever since he needed U.S. citizenship to own the portion of broadcasters he owns in America under U.S. law.

It doesn't stop him from taking an anti-EU stance in the name of British nationalism, either. It's really kind of sickening.

Oh, the day the BBC goes, is the day the UK becomes America-lite. I lived in the UK for about 15-20 years, and IMO since Tony Blair come to power, the beeb was the one thing, besides the accents, that separated the British from the Americans.

-koji K.

[edit on 19-9-2005 by koji_K]



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 01:36 PM
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If Murdoch kills Doctor Who I'm going to kill him.



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 01:42 PM
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Murdoch seems to carry a lot of political clout. Of course, he has the means to make or break an entire political party, let alone an individual.



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 01:51 PM
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Why does it matter what he says?

He's nearly dead and his empire gets split up once he does die.



posted on Sep, 20 2005 @ 11:11 AM
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Originally posted by Odium
Why does it matter what he says?

He's nearly dead and his empire gets split up once he does die.



How do you know it gets split up when he dies?

Are you an authority on him?

Are you his doctor?

Do You know what is in his will?



posted on Sep, 20 2005 @ 11:15 AM
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There is reported to be tension between Murdoch and the children of his first two marriages over the terms of a trust holding the family's 28.5 percent stake in News Corporation, estimated in 2005 to be worth about $6.1 billion. Under the trust his children by Wendi Deng share in the proceeds of the stock but have no voting privileges or control of the stock. Voting rights in the stock are divided 50/50 between Murdoch on the one side and his children by prior marriages. This was a compromise agreed to by his former wife Anna in lieu of a large cash settlement at the time of their divorce. Murdoch's voting privileges are not transferrable but will expire upon his death and the stock will then be controlled solely by his children from the prior marriages, although their half-siblings will continue to derive their share of income from it.


He has 4 children and from what it looks like in this Wiki article yes News corp is gonna be split up at least 4 ways

en.wikipedia.org...

So if you take that at face value then it looks like there will be 4 owners after his death.

shots, Murdoch is a very public figure so quite a bit of his personal life is public record.

[edit on 20-9-2005 by sardion2000]

[edit on 20-9-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Sep, 20 2005 @ 11:55 AM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
He has 4 children and from what it looks like in this Wiki article yes News corp is gonna be split up at least 4 ways

en.wikipedia.org...

So if you take that at face value then it looks like there will be 4 owners after his death.

shots, Murdoch is a very public figure so quite a bit of his personal life is public record.



I knew how many children he had that is not the point. No one but he and his family know what is in his will. You are using pure speculation to come to that conclusion. How do you know what his heirs will do or not do after he dies?

For all anyone knows they could sell it outright to another individual/indivduals who will continue running the corporation as it is now.



posted on Sep, 20 2005 @ 12:04 PM
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News corp is a public company. The shareholders HAVE to know what's gonna happen after he passes away, people like that HATE uncertainty so no it's not pure speculation it's an educated guess. If it were a private company I would agree with you but it isn't so I'm not.

[edit on 20-9-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Sep, 20 2005 @ 12:09 PM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
News corp is a public company. The shareholders HAVE to know what's gonna happen after he passes away, people like that HATE uncertainty so no it's not pure speculation it's an educated guess. If it were a private company I would agree with you but it isn't so I'm not.

[edit on 20-9-2005 by sardion2000]


That still changes nothing because for all you or anyone knows the board of directors could very well approve the sale it happens all the time when something happens to a CEO/chief shareholder.



posted on Sep, 20 2005 @ 12:34 PM
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Originally posted by shots
For all anyone knows they could sell it outright to another individual/indivduals who will continue running the corporation as it is now


Then why didn't they do so already? They have a large stake in the company already from previous legal wrangling with his Ex.

FTFA


Voting rights in the stock are divided 50/50 between Murdoch on the one side and his children by prior marriages.


His kids have allot of power, now I'm not sure what share structure News Corp is under but if I were Murdoch I'd have 2 classes of shares, Class A shares for Family and Company insiders with multiple votes per share and Class B shares with 1 vote per share(for everybody else, it's a very common setup for large family businesses in Commonwealth countries), if it's set up like that then his kids can do anything they want with the company as they will control the majority of voting rights. I just did a search and found two classes of shares, imagine that


EDIT: THe links didn't work so here are the ticker symbols.

NWS
NWS.A



That still changes nothing because for all you or anyone knows the board of directors could very well approve the sale it happens all the time when something happens to a CEO/chief shareholder.


Now who's guessing?


[edit on 20-9-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Sep, 20 2005 @ 12:51 PM
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Originally posted by sardion2000

Then why didn't they do so already? They have a large stake in the company already from previous legal wrangling with his Ex.


Perhaps because he is not dead yet.




Voting rights in the stock are divided 50/50 between Murdoch on the one side and his children by prior marriages.

Your comments on what you would or would not do that I snipped are not relevant because that is what you would do and you not him.




Now who's guessing?


[edit on 20-9-2005 by sardion2000]


Hmmm that would be you me thinks


Unlike you I sure would not go out on a limb based on speculation and say the company will be split. No one and I do mean no one knows what will happen until it takes place and you can take that to the bank.



posted on Sep, 20 2005 @ 12:57 PM
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I guess you didn't check out the article or the Ticker symbols, keep your eyes closed and not walking out on limbs will never make you any money. Of course you'll always be right since you never took the risk of being wrong, but I've been right more then I've been wrong so my statements stand.



posted on Sep, 20 2005 @ 01:15 PM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
I guess you didn't check out the article or the Ticker symbols, keep your eyes closed and not walking out on limbs will never make you any money. Of course you'll always be right since you never took the risk of being wrong, but I've been right more then I've been wrong so my statements stand.


I do not have to check out the tickers they are not relevant. Do you think that he would give them multi votes knowing they could in effect take the comapny away from him if they wanted? You must really think he is stupid.

As for being right that is a matter of opinion. As I said even you will not know what will happen until it happens.



posted on Sep, 26 2005 @ 09:25 AM
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Great Op/Ed JB1, since I left Britain on Thursday I havent even bothered switching on the news. The Australian media is a complete joke. If they didnt have the Australian preoccupation with sport to atleast try to hide their complete 'leading by the nose' of the viewer, they would just omit it any way.




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