Another view of Murdoch

By Chris Daly

Don’t say this blog is one-sided, even on the subject of Rupert Murdoch. The British writer William Shawcross recently stuck up for Murdoch in this piece in the Guardian.

Shawcross, who wrote a 1992 biography of Murdoch, is in a position to comment. I just disagree.

Here’s the take-away from Shawcross:

Rupert Murdoch has been the bravest and most radical media owner in Britain in the last 40 years.

There are caveats. It is insupportable for any tabloid, whether the Sun, the NoW, the Mirror or the Mail to “monster” individuals. But tabloids are an essential part of a vibrant market and the Sun is an excellent paper, catering well to its audience.

Without Murdoch there could never have been such a varied newspaper market in Britain during the last 25 years. Newspapers were dying until he confronted and defeated the greedy print unions. Only after his victory at Wapping did newspapers – on the left as well as on the right – have the chance to flourish. Murdoch’s purchase of Times Newspapers saved that company. It’s hard to think of any other proprietor who would have sustained its huge losses year after year.

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Filed under broadcasting, Journalism, journalism history, publishing

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