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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.
Rupert Murdoch should not be blinded by an emotional attachment to a small and declining part of his empire. Those were the last words to a Lex column in the Financial Times yesterday. The piece was of course referring to the News of the World, which was part of a newspaper division – that included The Sun and other profitable tittles in the US and Australia – that contributed only 13 percent to News Corp’s 2010 operating profits.
The piece began with the claim that News Corp was in a BP-style mess and accompanied a frontpage that carried the headline ‘Murdoch investors take fright’ – Brooks (Rebekah) backed over NoW, Fears for BSkyB bid, News Corp shares fall.
As the phone hacking scandal escalated yesterday, following the revelation that voice messages that had been hacked into included those of murdered British school girl Milly Dowler, were the closing words to that Lex column still ringing in Rupert Murdoch’ s ears when he decided to close down a title he had bought in 1969?
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Journalist Nayab Chohan critiques the work of counter-extremist think-tank, Quilliam, funded by the UK Government to monitor British Muslims, with contributions from LORD Nazir Ahmed and Gerry Sutcliffe MP.