So, James (son of Rupert) Murdoch thinks that, in the regulated world of public service broadcasting, the customer does not exist. He believes that the expansion of ‘state-sponsored journalism’ is a threat to the plurality and the independence of news provision which are ‘so important to our democracy’.
Murdoch (son of Rupert) is a key player in the global media monster that owns Fox News (a part of Fox Entertainment Group, fittingly) and who, were the BBC out of their way, would soon turn Sky News into the UK equivalent of that fair-minded, liberal, Palin-loving news channel. And we all know how important Fox is to American democracy!
The arguments put forward by Murdoch remind me of the nonsense we’ve been hearing from the USA about the NHS — he probably stopped just short of accusing the BBC of being ‘socialist’ because he knows that such ridiculous epithets only work with the loathsome right across the pond.
And well done to Robert Peston for taking this idiot on in such a forceful manner! I hope many other equally-forceful voices, from inside and outside the BBC, make themselves heard in this critical debate. Peston noted in his Richard Dunn Memorial Lecture in Edinburgh that:
For me, the blog is at the core of everything I do, it is the bedrock of my output.
That understanding from Peston of how things have changed demonstrates very nicely why the likes of Murdoch are getting desperate in their search for a workable business model for news: nothing to do with the BBC and everything to do with inevitable network effects of digital technology.