Isabelle and Brendan de Caires are spot on in their letter in SN re the Murdoch press on July 2, captioned ‘Market forces cannot prevail in a newsroom.’
Spot on, if a trifle naïve.
The Murdoch press in Britain has been dragged kicking and screaming to admitting that far from ‘one rogue reporter’ there was at least one whole rogue newspaper in the London News International stable The News of the World. The Murdochs have tried to detoxify the brand by closing that down. One suspects though that, despite the Harvard Business School speak of CEO James Murdoch at the Parliamentary Select Committee this week, there is a widespread culture of unethical journalism in Murdoch newsrooms. Worldwide?
They take their lead from the master who has built up a media empire on faux populism, predatory pricing and broken promises of editorial independence. Murdoch is the Citizen Kane of this generation. Profit not quality is his watchword. The paywalls around his papers are the most vicious and excluding of any – but is there really any alternative for the press in the capitalist world?
I would like to think there is but have yet to see one which works.