Campaigners ignored as Murdoch gets go ahead

The BBC are reporting that Rupert Murdoch has been given the go ahead for News International's controversial takeover of BSkyB. The move is likely to inflame campaigners.

The BBC are reporting that Rupert Murdoch has been given the go ahead for News International’s controversial takeover of BSkyB. The move is likely to inflame campaigners.

The global online campaigning group, Avaaz, yesterday organised over 30,000 messages and phone calls to Parliament. While a petition on the Avaaz website has been signed by close to 250,000 people. An email from Executive Director, Ricken Patel, last night told campaigners:

“Murdoch has used his vast media empire to push war in Iraq, elect George W Bush, and block global action on climate change, and if he wins this week in Britain he will use his networks here to undermine all the issues that we care about. He has manipulated US, British and Australian democracy for years, but now he wants more complete control. In the US, most of the likely Republican presidential candidates are actually paid employees of Murdoch! When his Fox News Network was shunned by Barack Obama as a mere propaganda mouthpiece, it spawned the far right “tea party”and broadcast constant, often hate-filled attacks against Obama and his healthcare and peace agenda — resulting in a huge win for Republicans in the 2010 congressional elections.

“Murdoch media staff have trampled laws and standards when gathering news. Several News Corporation executives approved phone hacking and, when a formal investigation began, they had regular secret meetings with senior police officers who then failed to investigate the full extent of the scandal. Our government should punish such an organisation, not allow it monopoly powers over our media. But if Rupert Murdoch is allowed to buy all of BSkyB this week, he will soon own half of our commercial newspapers and television. This should not be allowed in any democracy.”

The decision-maker Jemery Hunt had previously said:

“Rather than worry about Rupert Murdoch owning another TV channel, what we should recognise is that he has probably done more to create variety and choice in British TV than any other single person because of his huge investment in setting up Sky TV, which, at one point, was losing several million pounds a day.

“We would be the poorer and wouldn’t be saying that British TV is the envy of the world if it hadn’t been for him being prepared to take that commercial risk. We need to encourage that kind of investment.”

So much for an impartial decision.

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49 Responses to “Campaigners ignored as Murdoch gets go ahead”

  1. dontplaymepayme

    RT @leftfootfwd: Campaigners ignored as Murdoch gets go ahead http://bit.ly/hXC58P

  2. mattzarb

    RT @leftfootfwd Campaigners ignored as Murdoch gets go ahead http://bit.ly/hXC58P <– yep, "smashing monopolies" my arse.

  3. Tim Ireland

    RT @leftfootfwd: Campaigners ignored as Murdoch gets go ahead http://bit.ly/hXC58P

  4. Pam Jakeman

    RT @leftfootfwd: Campaigners ignored as Murdoch gets go ahead http://bit.ly/hXC58P

  5. Christopher Phillips

    RT @leftfootfwd: Campaigners ignored as Murdoch gets go ahead http://bit.ly/hXC58P

  6. Christopher Meredith

    RT @leftfootfwd: Campaigners ignored as Murdoch gets go ahead http://bit.ly/hXC58P

  7. Max

    RT @leftfootfwd: Campaigners ignored as Murdoch gets go ahead http://bit.ly/hXC58P

  8. Bern O'Donoghue

    RT @leftfootfwd: Campaigners ignored as Murdoch gets go ahead http://bit.ly/hXC58P

  9. UoE Occupation

    RT @leftfootfwd: Campaigners ignored as Murdoch gets go ahead http://bit.ly/hXC58P

  10. Toffee TechNoir

    RT @leftfootfwd: Campaigners ignored as Murdoch gets go ahead http://bit.ly/hXC58P

  11. yorkierosie

    RT @mattzarb: RT @leftfootfwd Campaigners ignored as Murdoch gets go ahead http://bit.ly/hXC58P <– yep, "smashing monopolies" my arse.

  12. sıɹɥɔ

    RT @chrismeredith: RT @leftfootfwd: Campaigners ignored as Murdoch gets go ahead http://bit.ly/hXC58P

  13. Rufus Polk

    RT @leftfootfwd: Campaigners ignored as Rupert Murdoch gets go ahead http://bit.ly/dQwFZJ

  14. Ashley Lindley

    Murdoch gets go ahead http://bit.ly/dQwFZJ via @leftfootfwd

  15. Mark Stevo

    Seems the goal-posts are being shifted here. Previous posts have referred to the need to maintain plurality of news provision. Without having seen the governance proposal for SN, that seems to have been at least maintained and potentially improved. Concerns have been acknowledged and addressed.

  16. Jane Phillips

    RT @leftfootfwd: Campaigners ignored as Murdoch gets go ahead http://bit.ly/hXC58P

  17. Thereminwar

    RT @leftfootfwd: Campaigners ignored as Murdoch gets go ahead http://bit.ly/hXC58P

  18. Duncan Keeling

    RT @leftfootfwd: Campaigners ignored as Murdoch gets go ahead http://bit.ly/dQwFZJ …Should we be surprised? #StopMurdoch

  19. markcaudery

    RT @leftfootfwd: Campaigners ignored as Murdoch gets go ahead http://bit.ly/hXC58P

  20. sean gittins

    RT @leftfootfwd: Campaigners ignored as Murdoch gets go ahead http://bit.ly/hXC58P

  21. Double.Karma

    RT @leftfootfwd: Campaigners ignored as Murdoch gets go ahead http://bit.ly/hXC58P

  22. Bex Clarke

    RT @leftfootfwd: Campaigners ignored as Murdoch gets go ahead http://bit.ly/dQwFZJ

  23. Jill Austin

    RT @leftfootfwd: Campaigners ignored as Murdoch gets go ahead http://bit.ly/hXC58P

  24. Amber

    RT @leftfootfwd: Campaigners ignored as Murdoch gets go ahead http://bit.ly/dQwFZJ

  25. chris star

    Campaigners ignored as Murdoch gets go ahead
    http://bit.ly/evc4JW

  26. Double.Karma

    RT @unitonehifi: Campaigners ignored as Murdoch gets go ahead
    http://bit.ly/evc4JW

  27. Wil

    The deal they’ve reached is that Murdoch will spin off sky news as an independent company, and pay it a generous subsidy to keep it afloat for a number of years. So yes, Murdoch will have the vast majority of sky, but not skynews- and that was what we were all concerned about regarding media plurality.
    I’m sure Hunt is far from impartial, but they seem to have come to a pretty reasonable compromise.

  28. Simon

    Campaigners ignored as Murdoch gets go ahead http://bit.ly/g7WDeS

  29. Will James Slater

    RT @leftfootfwd: Campaigners ignored as Murdoch gets go ahead http://bit.ly/dQwFZJ

  30. Lynn Matthews

    Great to see our democracy is up and running so well. No hint of “what’s in it for me” here…Wonder if the government will now implement the Bribary Act that was passed through parliament last April, but they have so far refused to acknowledge!

  31. Mark Stevo

    Bribery is a very serious allegation, is there any evidence of that here?

  32. Daniel Pitt

    Campaigners ignored as Murdochracy gets go ahead http://bit.ly/hXC58P #ConDemNation

  33. DJC

    RT @myinfamy: Campaigners ignored as Murdochracy gets go ahead http://bit.ly/hXC58P #ConDemNation

  34. JK

    RT @unitonehifi: Campaigners ignored as Murdoch gets go ahead
    http://bit.ly/evc4JW

  35. SimonB

    I’d still like to see the Ofcom report.

  36. stopmurdoch

    RT @DuncanKeeling: RT @leftfootfwd: Campaigners ignored as Murdoch gets go ahead http://bit.ly/dQwFZJ …Should we be surprised? #StopMu …

  37. John Ruddy

    Is this Sky TV which “has probably done more to create variety and choice in British TV” the same Sky TV which fills its schedules with american imports and commisions less Uk drama than any other broadcaster (Channel 5 included)?

    I think we should be told.

  38. Mark Stevo

    What’s so bad about American imports?

  39. Joss Garman

    RT @leftfootfwd: Campaigners ignored as Murdoch gets go ahead http://bit.ly/hXC58P

  40. Mr. Sensible

    Will given that Murdoch will continue to subsidize it I cannot believe Sky News will not be subject to some sort of influence by him.

    The government have made an absolute mess of this. In January, Jeremy Hunt was told quite clearly by Ofcom that the bid should be referred to the Competition Commission. On 25 January Hunt said that he would be inclined to refer the bid to the Competition Commission. What’s changed that has resulted in this stitch up? Not sure it’s necesarily bribery, but Hunt needs to come out and be completely honest as to what happened and why he failed to follow Ofcom’s reckomendation.

    And given what Hunt has previously said, he is as much involved in this as Cable was, and so this can only be resolved by judicial review, and so I wish the media organizations campaigning against this every success.
    And I think Murdoch’s supporters are guilty of rank hipocricy; they attack the size of the BBC, but according to Robert Peston this deal will result in a company who’s revenues dwarf those of the BBC.

    What an absolute mess!

  41. scandalousbill

    Wil.

    You say:

    “The deal they’ve reached is that Murdoch will spin off sky news as an independent company, and pay it a generous subsidy to keep it afloat for a number of years. So yes, Murdoch will have the vast majority of sky, but not skynews- and that was what we were all concerned about regarding media plurality.”

    At face value, this may seem a reasonable compromise. But I fear that the back door left open will allow the Murdoch empire to maintain control of Sky News and hence reinitiate concerns regarding media plurality.

    As I understand it News Corp will have 39.1% of Sky News, the balance of shares go to public offering. As far as I can see, there is nothing to preclude Murdoch, or his muppets, from buying up additional public offered shares of Sky News either directly or by proxy at IPO or later on.

  42. Mr. Sensible

    scandalousbill, as I understand it, News Corporation will need permission from the Secretary of State to buy additional shares.

    However, given what’s happened here, why should we have any confidence that Jeremy Hunt will stand up to Mr Murdoch if that happens?

  43. illogicology

    And they wonder why people are losing faith in political solutions. http://bit.ly/hblt6E

  44. scandalousbill

    Mr. Sensible,

    You note:

    “News Corporation will need permission from the Secretary of State to buy additional shares. “

    That is one of the grey areas as a purchase by proxy is not addressed. In the same light, the notion that no News Corporation employee can control Sky News by sitting on the board, selection to the management team, etc. does not preclude a simple resignation from News Corp to assume a position with Sky News or to buy additional Sky News shares directly.

    The devil will definitely be in the detail on this one.

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