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Father and son

At times it may have dragged, but yesterday’s Murdoch inquisition made fairly compulsive viewing. Like most commentators, I thought for the first ten minute so so that Rupert was no longer firing on all cylinders, until Mr Sheridan MP bowled him a nice long hop, concerning a back door visit to Number 10. The old man seemed to wake up, smacked it for six in the manner of all good Aussies, and from that point was reasonably okay. That’s what the New York Stock Exchange thought, given the 5%+ rise in Newscorp shares. Yes, questions of corporate governance may have been left hanging in the air, but you can bet that where the act needs sharpening up it will be and that all of his editors will have Rupert growling in their ears much more frequently, for a while at least.

Overall, I thought that James performed pretty well, all things considered. I say that, because if I were him, viewing the tapes today, I’d be firing my PR advisers. If I’d been briefing him, he would have gone in there with a complete, detailed timeline so that every time he was asked to put a date on something, for example, when he first became aware of an occurrence, he’d have had the answer literally at his fingertips. That’s basic stuff and they didn’t do it.

As for the pie-chucker, those around the incident might possibly have let Mrs Murdoch get a few more shots in before he was huckled away. I read this morning that he’s been charged with a public order offence and bailed to appear before magistrates later this week. I’m sure he’ll be given more than a slap on the wrist, but I suspect that worse will befall the person in charge of security for the hearing.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Joy Chatters
    July 20, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Didn’t it all just show that the bigger the empire the more difficult it is to control? And shouldn’t we be concerned about the local newspaper industry in the UK? Around four large groups will own every newspaper in Britain shortly. Competition between local papers for advertising and news is disappearing and while the recession and the web are being blamed for the demise of many weekly papers, and evening turning into weeklies, it is the lack of local control that is just as much to blame. In the North Johnston and Trinity may think they are ‘saving’ local papers from closure, but they are actually presiding of the death of the industry. Local papers will only survive if they are truly local.

  2. July 20, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    You’re telling me something I’ve known for 25 years, and saw coming 15 years before that. The East Lothian Courier died a few years ago, (it’s still published but you know what I mean) and it may have been the last of the old timers. Some day soon, government will permit local authorities to use their own websites alone for statutory ads and notices, and that will be pretty much that. As someone with a grounding in traditional weeklies, as I know you are also, I find this hugely regrettable, but as a realist I have to accept that it’s dictated by the market. The Saltire, the newspaper in The Loner is my tribute to the way it was, but that’s all I can do.

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