Rupert Murdoch’s BSkyB bid ‘threatens media plurality’, says NUJ

Journalists union calls on Culture Secretary to block takeover

 

Press baron Rupert Murdoch’s £11.7 billion bid for control of BSkyB ‘threatens media diversity and plurality’, according to the National Union of Journalists.

The NUJ said in a statement today that a deal between Sky and 21st Century Fox for Murdoch to take over the 61 per cent of BSkyB he doesn’t already own should be blocked by the government.

Now the bid has been formerly made, Culture Secretary Karen Bradley has ten days to refer the deal to broadcast regulator Ofcom.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, accused Murdoch of ‘corporate opportunism’ and warned of a ‘toxic consolidation of power’ in the media.

She said:

“It is vital that this deal is halted until part two of the Leveson Inquiry has taken place.

Most of the British public do not believe that Rupert Murdoch is a fit and proper person to run BSkyB.

And while there are clear reasons of corporate opportunism that drive his desire to finally clinch this deal, there’s no benefit for the public in this takeover being given the green light.

We need greater plurality in our media, not an ever-further toxic consolidation of power and control.”

Murdoch is 21st Century Fox’s executive co-chairman and former chairman and CEO. Fox currently owns 39.14 per cent of BSkyB, which includes Sky One, Sky News and Sky Sports.

Murdoch also owns the Times, the Sunday Times and the Sun, along with Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and others, as chairman and CEO of News Corporation.  

See: Murdoch’s Sun says ‘crush’ rail staff and sack them if they strike

2 Responses to “Rupert Murdoch’s BSkyB bid ‘threatens media plurality’, says NUJ”

  1. David Lindsay

    The Sun is The Bloody Rag of Hillsborough, and the persecutor of my friend (yes, still my friend), Tom Watson. The Times employs Oliver Kamm, the tormentor of my friend, Neil Clark. But try as I might to work myself up about Rupert Murdoch’s attempt to purchase the rest of Sky, I cannot bring myself to do so. Fox News, by the way, has been shown in this country for some years.

    I ask how a Sky owned entirely by Murdoch would be any worse, either than Sky at present, or than the Liberal Establishment’s precious BBC. Just how right-wing do you have to be, to think that the BBC is left-wing, or even left-leaning? But that’s you, Guardian. That’s you. The BBC is said to be the Gold Standard. But the Gold Standard, like the euro, is a very bad idea, and for very much the same reasons. The action that is required in order to bring about social justice and economic equality would be impossible under the Gold Standard, just as it is in the eurozone.

    The free-floating fiat currencies of sovereign states are necessary, although of course not sufficient, to the true liberty and democracy in which no one is so much richer than anyone else that the latter’s liberties and franchise are effectively meaningless. Especially, but not exclusively, in the field of news and current affairs, something very similar applies to broadcasters.

  2. David Lindsay

    The Sun is The Bloody Rag of Hillsborough, and the persecutor of my friend (yes, still my friend), Tom Watson. The Times employs Oliver Kamm, the tormentor of my friend, Neil Clark. But try as I might to work myself up about Rupert Murdoch’s attempt to purchase the rest of Sky, I cannot bring myself to do so. What would such an acquisition make any worse?

    The BBC provides little or no platform for those who understand the lesson of the EU referendum result in the United Kingdom, and of the election of Donald Trump in the United Kingdom, which is that the workers, and not the liberal bourgeoisie, are the key swing voters. The BBC provides little or no platform for those who locate identity issues within the overarching and undergirding context of the struggle against economic inequality and in favour of international peace. The BBC provides little or no platform for those who welcome the fact that the EU referendum was decided by those areas which voted Leave while voting Labour, Liberal Democrat or Plaid Cymru for other purposes, and which have thus made themselves the centre of political attention, except, of course, on the BBC.

    The BBC provides little or no platform for those who celebrate the leading role in the defence of universal public services of those who would otherwise lack basic amenities, and the leading role in the promotion of peace of those who would be the first to be called upon to die in wars. The BBC provides little or no platform for those who have opposed from the start the failed programme of economic austerity. The BBC provides little or no platform for those who opposed Tony Blair’s privatisation of the NHS and other public services, his persecution of the disabled, and his assault on civil liberties, all of which have continued under every subsequent Government.

    The BBC provides little or no platform for those who have opposed every British military intervention since 1997. The BBC provides little or no platform for those who oppose Britain’s immoral and one-sided relationship with Saudi Arabia, and who reject the demonisation of Russia. The BBC provides little or no platform for those who have the real eyes to realise real lies, recognising that the truly fake news is propagated in support of the economic policies of neoliberal austerity and the foreign policies of neoconservative war.

    The BBC provides little or no platform for those who reject any approach to climate change which would threaten existing or potential jobs, workers’ rights, the right to have children, travel opportunities, or universal access to a full diet. The BBC provides little or no platform for those who seek to rescue issues such as male suicide, men’s health, and fathers’ rights from those whose economic and other policies have caused the problems. And the BBC provides little or no platform for those who refuse to recognise racists, Fascists or opportunists as the authentic voices of the accepted need to control immigration.

    Over-concentrated media ownership, especially by a foreign national who is not based in this country, is inherently problematic. But in the very great scheme that is these things, the biggest problem is not Rupert Murdoch. He already owns a lot of Sky, on which the much-maligned RT does indeed provide these platforms. He now also owns talkRADIO, on which they are provided by the much-maligned George Galloway, whom Murdoch has not sacked, and who is a friend and comrade of mine and of Neil Clark’s. As the proprietor of the whole of Sky, Murdoch might even do some good.

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