Two brothers suspected of Paris attack on magazine were killed as French forces stormed the printer shop they were hiding in. The one hostage being held by Cherif and Said Kouachi at Dammartin was freed unhurt. However, at least four hostages were killed at the Kosher supermarket as well as the gunman.
Yesterday, he described Gordon Brown as ‘unbalanced’, someone who had declared war on News Corporation in reponse to The Sun switching its support from Labour to David Cameron’s Conservatives.
Today, Rupert Murdoch admitted that he had missed the ‘cover-up’ at the News of the World, a newspaper he also said should have been closed down long ago.
When asked who the buck stopped with at all his newspapers, he replied the Editor, he, Rupert Murdoch, had of course overall responsibility, however he had delegated.
If the 81-year-old the standing of the media mogul had suffered from the phone hacking scandal, then his appearance today and yesterday at the Royal Courts of Justice may have gone someway to recovering any lost ground.
Great power is best exercised when it is understated, especially when it is exposed before the glare of the media spotlight.
And that is exactly what the world saw, as arguably one of the most powerful men in the world explained how he did not intefere in the running of his newspapers, content or welfare of staff and how he closed the NoW after revelations that the phone of tragic schoolgirl Milly Dowler had been hacked. He said he “could feel the blast coming in the window, almost”, as soon as the story broke.
All this will of course make the headlines, however what was perhaps more telling was how he viewed the future of the newspaper industry in the midst of the current electronic revolution.
He gave newspapers another ten years, this from a man for whom running a newspaper is clearly a passion.
How would the new media make money, well the Huffington Post was getting millions of hits but was struggling to make anything.
There are bloggers out there whose work can reach any where.
Work can be pilfered and then put out there with little or no respect for intellectual property rights.
If this was some else talking, then it could be dismissed as yet another world view, however here is the owner of The Sun (as well as Sunday), The Times and The Sunday Times admitting that he could not see a long term future for the newspaper industry.
James Murdoch – and his father as a consequence – has come in for a barrage of criticism over his handling of the whole phone hacking saga which at one point appeared to be on the verge of bringing to an end the British operation of the Murdoch Media Empire.
So, as the young Murdoch sat in front of a white screen today to answer questions about the affair which began in the publics eyes with the hacking of the voice mails of the missing school girl, the hauntingly tragic Milly Dowler, he cut a rather apologetic figure.
Clearly not at ease with the line of questioning or even being called to account for his actions, he denied any knowledge of an e-mail which claimed phone hacking was rife at the News of the World, the Sunday Tabloid that was closed down as a result of the public fury about that intrusion into the grief of the Dowler family.
He did this on oath before Lord Justice Leveson.
James Murdoch also denied he was involved in a corporate cover-up, blaming senior executives for not telling him of what was really going in the newsroom of the News of the World.
On that last part, at the very least, he is right – the Murdochs do not interfere in the content of their publications or how they find their stories, they don’t need to – every executive is hired for how similar they are to the way in which they think to the head of this global media empire, namely Rupert Murdoch.
As for how the stories are found, the buck stops with the Editor.
By common consent, the 39-year-old James Murdoch is no longer the force he once was, his star is no longer on the rise, he has suffered from a lack of experience on the ground floor.
Perhaps, he should have been thrown into the newspaper world doing the rounds before rising so quickly to be head of News International, a position he resigned from in February.
There’s nothing like the school of hard knocks, to toughen up anyone who wants to make it in this often harsh world.
James Murdoch also said that it was News Corporation’s long-held ambition to get hold of the remaining shares of BSkyB, what the Murdoch’s intend to do with newspapers they own he did not say, although another thing that has also emerged from the Leveson Inquiry is the decline of the newspaper industry as a whole, something that frankly can be seen by the content that passes off as political, international or general reporting in newspapers generally.
Here is an arena where to show intelligence is frowned upon, and where too much time – in terms of hours allocated to reporters – is spent on gossip and side issues with the result that coverage is generally superficial.
Newspapers should be here to inform their readers, especially now when major reforms are occurring in education, health and welfare at a time when the government is warning that austerity cuts have not even begun. And on the world stage, major confrontations are looming with Iran and China, as well as a financial crisis in Europe which has engulfed every member of the Euro-zone and whose long-term consequence could affect this country’s standing in the world.
If, and when this is covered in newspapers over here, it is through the peculiar prism of a very narrow news agenda in a language that few actually understand.
What’s more newspapers have shown themselves to be very resistant to changes that are clearly occurring in front of them, namely people as they become more confident in their use of the internet can ignore them as a source of news.
Perhaps, Murdoch was in part responsible for this decline.
However, that eighty-one-year-old Australian did not own all of the publications whose daily headlines remind us how out of touch they are with events over here and further.