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  • seandodson 8:01 pm on May 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , leveson, , murdoch,   

    So we finally learnt today that Jeremy Hunt thought that “our media sector will suffer for years” if Rupert Murdoch’s bid to takeover the whole of BSkyB was blocked by the government. Oh really? This being the same BSkyB that is already the UK’s leading supplier of both residential and business pay-TV services. The same company that led some analysts (Enders, 2011) to calculate that the company accounted for approximately two-thirds of UK residential subscribers to subscription pay-TV and about, wait for this, four-fifths of the sector’s market revenues last year. Let’s not forget, this is the very same BSkyB that dwarfs any other supplier in the market place, including the BBC. BSkyB enjoys revenues of £5.9bn. By comparison the BBC receives £2.4bn from the licence fee.

    This is precisely what I don’t get about the free market ideology espoused by Mr Hunt. It creates nothing like a market that is free. On the contrary, as the Enders calculations indicate, it creates a monopoly that stifles competition. Markets don’t need to be free, rather they need to be regulated in order to allow competition to foster. As the economist Ha-Joon Chan has written: “when free market economists say that a certain regulation should not be introduced because it would restrict ‘freedom’ of a certain market [as in the BSkyB case], they are merely expressing an opinion … their ideological cloak is to pretend that their politics is not really political, but rather is an objective economic truth.” If Mr Hunt’s view that the BSkyB bid wouldn’t damage the media sector isn’t a political decision, I don’t know what is.

  • seandodson 7:58 pm on July 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , murdoch, , , , rebecca brooks   

    Peter Oborne of the Spectator on the phone hacking scandal.

    Let’s try a thought experiment. Let’s imagine that BP threw an extravagant party, with oysters and expensive champagne. Let’s imagine that Britain’s most senior politicians were there — including the Prime Minister and his chief spin doctor. And now let’s imagine that BP was the subject of two separate police investigations, that key BP executives had already been arrested, that further such arrests were likely, and that the chief executive was heavily implicated.

    Let’s take this mental experiment a stage further: BP’s chief executive had refused to appear before a Commons enquiry, while MPs who sought to call the company to account were claiming to have been threatened. Meanwhile, BP was paying what looked like hush money to silence people it had wronged, thereby preventing embarrassing information entering the public domain.

    And now let’s stretch probability way beyond breaking point. Imagine that the government was about to make a hugely controversial ruling on BP’s control over the domestic petroleum market. And that BP had a record of non-payment of British tax. The stench would be overwhelming. There would be outrage in the Sun and the Daily Mail — and rightly so — about Downing Street collusion with criminality. The Sunday Times would have conducted a fearless investigation, and the Times penned a pained leader. In parliament David Cameron would have been torn to shreds.

  • seandodson 9:20 pm on February 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: daily, ipad, matthew dyas, , murdoch, news corp,   

    I was going to collate some reaction to the Daily – Rupert Murdoch’s new iPad “newspaper” – but Matthew Dyas beat me to it with this splendid piece.

    • Mr Dyas 9:34 pm on February 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the repost Sean.
      What did you make of The Daily?

      • seandodson 9:47 pm on February 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Well its neither a Daily or a Newspaper, but I hope it succeeds. The layout’s very good. The business model challenging.

  • seandodson 2:04 pm on November 1, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , fox news, , murdoch,   

    Quick point to the Indy’s Ian Burrell who criticises News Corporation’s most recent escalation of its attack on the BBC. Like a victorious general keen to push home recent victories, Rupert Murdoch is pressing his troops ever forward. The Sun says today that “the Beeb is today the pompous voice of defeated socialism,” adding that the corporation’s coverage of the housing benefit cuts – which has warned that many could be made homeless – “must not become a licence for malicious and unscrupulous propaganda”. What? Like Fox News?

  • seandodson 3:58 pm on October 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , media plurality, , murdoch   

    Think that the Mirror’s leader on Murdoch today was spot on:

    We believe Mr Murdoch has the right in a free world to say and think what he likes … He correctly points out his American outfits are rare beacons of Right wing views in the left-of-centre US media.But the boot is on the other foot in Britain where the media is dominated by strident right-wing voices, not least by Mr Murdoch’s own titles. His argument cuts both ways.

    Voice of the Mirror

    • James Baron 5:02 pm on October 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      ‘He correctly points out his American outfits are rare beacons of Right wing views in the left-of-centre US media’

      Er, really? Definitely not remotely centre-left by European standards.

  • seandodson 12:36 pm on October 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 38degrees, , murdoch, sky takeover   

    If you care about media plurality then please let your MP know that you don’t want Rupert Murdoch to take control of BSkyB. The link above takes you to the campaign page from the pressure group 38degrees. A standard letter has been done for you: just enter your postcode to send it to your local MP. The whole thing as simple as buttering a teacake and takes about as long to eat.

  • seandodson 3:59 pm on September 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: berlusconi, , , murdoch   

    “The level of concentration [of News Corp media] already seen in the UK is substantially greater than would be allowed in Italian law. We are already way past any Berlusconi moment in Britain.” #murdoch

    Claire Enders, Analyst, cited in Media Guardian
  • seandodson 10:21 am on September 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , media ownership, murdoch,   

    I’ve just signed this open letter to Vince Cable, our dear old secretary of state for business innovation and skills. The letter beseeches him to prevent Rupert Murdoch from gaining 100% control of BskyB. Uncle Vince, after all, has the ability to halt the takeover on the grounds of preserving media plurality in this country. If the deal goes through, one company – controlled by one family – will be the biggest and most wealthy commercial television broadcaster. It already controls roughly half of the UK’s national press. That makes me shudder. Cross-media legislation is meant to prevent this kind of deal, if you agree with me, please sign and send the letter too. #murdoch

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