Is Rupert Murdoch’s attempted monopolisation of the media in Britain something that should be opposed?
Rupert Murdoch, often depicted as a nefarious figure by the
papers that he does not control, is seeking to buy out BskyB with an £8bn bid.
If this acquisition is successful, Murdoch will be in control of a media empire
with a turnover of £6.4bn last year, nearly double that of the BBC.
Members of the British media have united to petition Vince Cable to block
the takeover, claiming that the ‘proposed take-over could have serious and
far-reaching consequences for media plurality’.With the media such an integral part of our lives, is this an over-reaction, or should we genuinely be frightened by Murdoch’s ever-increasing
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His current medium is not of merit
Of course we should oppose this monstrous media mogul from taking over loads of forms of media, the man is responsible for one of the most uninformative forms of newspaper around; the News of the World. Do we really want all of our newspapers to be dumbed-down to this extent? If he were a man of great integrity, if he were a man showing great intellectual promise in what he has to offer, then maybe a mass merger of all media would not be a bad thing in order to eradicate the growing amount of tripe around. However, for the manager of such a poor source of information and intellect to take over many forms of media, let alone most of it, is quite a scary prospect.
The man owns News Corp. News of the World maybe his product but this says nothing about his intellect. For the man to be worth so much money and to head a company that is so prominent as to own the best selling newspaper in Britain, the man himself cannot be dumb. The fact is he was smart enough to capture an audience with a newspaper that he himself would not be captivated by. This is the sign of an intelligent man. No doubt he will have the business acumen to realise that he stands to gain no profit if he merely replicates the News of the World format in every media form he takes over. He will diversify. Your fears here are unfounded.
He already has too much control of the British media
It is not healthy for Democracy if too high a proportion of the media are controlled from a single source, especially if that source is in private ownership.
The Murdoch media are masters at taking a small ammount of truth and then spinning it massively to suit their own political purpose. This is done quite subtly by papers such as the Times. However where the assumption is that the readership is less sophisticated ( as in the Sun) , the bias and distortion is a lot more brazen. The reason Rupert Mudoch never misses an opportunity to talk down the BBC is that the presence of a fairly unbiased source of news severely limits the Murdoch ability to distort.
If you want to see what the media could be like if Rupert Murdoch gained much more control, just take a look at Fox News on the Sky system. I believe that far from gaining even more power, the Murdoch empire should be required to sell some of the assets they already have in Britain.
The issue is not whether Rupert Murdoch is a good business man. It is whether a man born in Australia and based in the USA should have so much influence over life in Britain.
The takeovers will make little difference to the public
The fact is that News Corp, owned by Murdoch, already owns 39% of BskyB. The fear surrounding Murdoch over taking the remaining 61% is rather silly. As a 39% stakeholder, he already has a majority share and can already implement any resolutions he wants within the company using the poll procedure at a members meeting [[Section 284(3) Companies Act 2006]] The man already has executive control! The reality is, his takeover will only make a difference to his own profit margins; it is little to do with the public. The media they are so partial to will not change.
The fact is the Murdock at those member meetings still has to take into account the other shareholders. Having 39% of the voting shares means that there is 61% of the company owned elsewhere. Now if Murdoch was throwing his weight around and passing resolutions that none of the other members liked, they would begin to sell their shares to other people. If they all began selling their shares, the value of the shares would decrease and this would leave the financial security of BSkyB uncertain. It would decrease the value of Murdoch's own shares and he certainly would not want that. So even though he may have executive control at the moment, he is still accountable to the other shareholders. However, if he owned 100%, he would not have such concerns and could implement any changes he liked. The reality is, we do not know what he would do in these circumstances.
What do you think?