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Murdoch and his UK media takeover.

...on serious topics that don't fit anywhere else at present.
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animist
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Re: Murdoch and his UK media takeover.

#21 Post by animist » July 7th, 2011, 7:34 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

Alan H wrote:Murdoch is the guy in charge, isn't he, and therefore ultimately responsible?
yes, and I wonder how many "liberal" papers he owns? Also, it this not about monopoly power as well as hacking? I agree the Avaaz wording could have been better (my wife edited it before signing the petition) but generally I am glad that Avaaz do what they do

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Dave B
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Re: Murdoch and his UK media takeover.

#22 Post by Dave B » July 7th, 2011, 7:56 pm

Perhaps Murdoch is being attacked personally and unfairly in this case but perhaps this is just a straw too far and the widespread personal dislike for the man that many feel is at the root of it. It would be interesting to see the "growth" graph of those registering their desire to see Murdoch lose the Sky deal over the past few months.

Any organisation has to, in some ways, reflect the leading figures. Yes, those at the front line of publishing the news make the final shape but, surely, no proprietor gives a 100% free hand to his editors, there must always be a framework that he alone determines and must answer for. So, if "slagging off" is an allowed tool within that policy and those at the front line take that to extremes the fault has a traceable line back to the top desk does it not - someone was not making sure the checks and balances were in good order. Any organisation that gets big enough for the man at the top to totally lose sight of what is happening at the bottom is too big perhaps. But he still has to carry the can.
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AlexVocat
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Re: Murdoch and his UK media takeover.

#23 Post by AlexVocat » July 7th, 2011, 11:22 pm

Dave B wrote:Any organisation that gets big enough for the man at the top to totally lose sight of what is happening at the bottom is too big perhaps. But he still has to carry the can.
I was going to say something to this effect, that perhaps this is where capitalism must be controlled. But it's such businesses that allow prices to be as low as they are. So maybe it's not size necessarily, but just the way the top office operates. If it's one man and his empire then losing sight of operations at the lower levels is going to occur, but if the CEO has a big enough board of trustable people to do the checking in various places at once, things might be better. Murdoch probably already has this, but maybe not the best functioning one?

Murdoch runs a business in owning businesses, that's it. Like it to the Prime Minister. The PM is not responsible for things that MPs do, what he is responsible for is putting in place systems that are best at making sure that what MPs do is lawful. This is Murdoch's job. So we could prosecute him for neglect, but not blame him for phone hacking.
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bindeweede
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Re: Murdoch and his UK media takeover.

#24 Post by bindeweede » July 8th, 2011, 12:01 am


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Dave B
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Re: Murdoch and his UK media takeover.

#25 Post by Dave B » July 8th, 2011, 9:45 am

So we could prosecute him for neglect, but not blame him for phone hacking.
That is true, Alex, I was not advocating trying him for the crimes of his minions but he still has to take some responsibility for the overall "shape" of the ethics of his companies. He is the one man who can determine that shape by setting out rules that ensure all know that they will be hung out to dry if they cross the line. I bet such an edict does go out if it has not done so already!

This is not putting editors in straitjackets but setting limits on how they can gather information. If they use techniques like the Fake Sheik to pin down the baddies in big industry and politics that is one thing, I am not even sure that hacking into the phones of such is justified. But to investigate the parents of missing and murdered kids and dead soldiers in the way they did can surely not be justified. There may be cases where the parents are in some way to blame for the fate of their children and are hiding the fact but that surely cannot justify illegal, covert investigation of this kind.
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Re: Murdoch and his UK media takeover.

#26 Post by Tetenterre » July 8th, 2011, 9:49 am

I'm not for a moment trying to excuse Murdoch or his lackeys, but there is one group of people who are at fault who seem to be getting away scot-free: the gutless bastards in Parliament who, purely for their own self-interest, have consistently failed to properly address the excesses of some of the media and who consciously chose not to give even the semblance of teeth to the PCC. Had our elected representatives behaved with integrity in the interests of decency instead of kow-towing to media barons, it is, IMNSVHO, unlikely that much if any of the present situation would have happened.

I'm all for a free press, but that does not, in my book, include the freedom to publish falsehoods or to invade the privacy of private individuals. Last night, I caught the last bit of BBC QT; somebody called Jon Gaunt -- not sure who he is, but he sounded like a tabloid hack, or at least an apologist for them -- said that people were protected against published falsehoods by libel and defamation legislation. Only if you can afford it!
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AlexVocat
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Re: Murdoch and his UK media takeover.

#27 Post by AlexVocat » July 8th, 2011, 11:56 am

Tetenterre, I would fully agree that the media has been given way too much freedom and some of the things it can do are abominable. But having Murdoch run most of the papers is not one of them IMO.

I have signed on the petition for libel reform, this is one of the things I really do think is unjust.
http://libelreform.org/
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Dave B
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Re: Murdoch and his UK media takeover.

#28 Post by Dave B » July 8th, 2011, 12:51 pm

AlexVocat wrote:Tetenterre, I would fully agree that the media has been given way too much freedom and some of the things it can do are abominable. But having Murdoch run most of the papers is not one of them IMO.

I have signed on the petition for libel reform, this is one of the things I really do think is unjust.
http://libelreform.org/
I take, Alex, it you mean that Murdoch's ownership of lots of media is not an "abomination"? Agreed, but neither is it healthy for any nation or society or even the impartial rule of law to allow any one person to have too great a control on any means of influencing the public.

Well done on signing the libel reform petition Image
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AlexVocat
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Re: Murdoch and his UK media takeover.

#29 Post by AlexVocat » July 8th, 2011, 1:41 pm

Yes, Dave.

I would liken it to Dairy Milk and Kraft. If Dairy Milk were to start producing bars with a hazardous flavouring in them then, assuming that same flavouring was not being used in other companies owned by Kraft, we would not hold Kraft responsible and I suspect you wouldn't think to question them.

I think there's something sensationist about 'one man' owning so much which draws attention to him. It's a reaction based on public view. It's hard to determine where the buck stops in absolute terms and for that reason I think that it's responsibility (not moral responsibility, before any of my peers from the Free Will thread pick me up on it) that must be investigated and then, separately, investigate whether there's been a failure to provide sufficient safety systems; in other words, if there's been neglect.
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Alan H
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Re: Murdoch and his UK media takeover.

#30 Post by Alan H » July 8th, 2011, 6:45 pm

Tetenterre wrote:Last night, I caught the last bit of BBC QT; somebody called Jon Gaunt -- not sure who he is, but he sounded like a tabloid hack, or at least an apologist for them
Ex-Sun journo. Says it all.
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AlexVocat
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Re: Murdoch and his UK media takeover.

#31 Post by AlexVocat » July 10th, 2011, 10:21 pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14100053

If you watch the video in this link you see 'journalists' bombarding the pair in what looks to me like a hypocritical frenzy. I have defended Murdoch and am not sure about Brooks, but either way the BBC are included in this 'in your face' type 'reporting'. I hate it. Murdoch has a job to do over here and he can't go anywhere without people literally stopping him in his path. My main problem is that they don't get anything out of it, it's a pointless excercise. If we're going to criticise these people of invading privacy then something like what's shown in this video must also be included in that criticism. Phone hacking is another level but I find both just as detestable.
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Re: Murdoch and his UK media takeover.

#32 Post by thundril » July 10th, 2011, 10:31 pm

AlexVocat wrote:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14100053

If you watch the video in this link you see 'journalists' bombarding the pair in what looks to me like a hypocritical frenzy.
You are kidding? Compared to the way the hacks hound people involved in other 'big stories', that was bloody gentlemanly.

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Re: Murdoch and his UK media takeover.

#33 Post by AlexVocat » July 11th, 2011, 6:58 am

No you're very right to say, as I did, that hacking is on a completely different level, but I dislike both. If people are entitled to a right of privacy then so are they. In light of what's happened maybe we don't care but I'm sure that the type of 'journalism' shown in the video is being employed on others who are much less deserving of such an invasion of privacy.
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animist
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Re: Murdoch and his UK media takeover.

#34 Post by animist » July 19th, 2011, 6:03 pm

AlexVocat wrote:It's hard to determine where the buck stops in absolute terms and for that reason I think that it's responsibility (not moral responsibility, before any of my peers from the Free Will thread pick me up on it) that must be investigated and then, separately, investigate whether there's been a failure to provide sufficient safety systems; in other words, if there's been neglect.
I am going to pick you up anyway over this. There is no rigid dividing line between moral responsibility and responsibility in general. If you foul up over a job, or if your staff do, you are responsible in some way, and this is not totally spearate from your moral responsiblity, because you cause problems to your colleagues, customers, suppliers and so on if you fail to devote enough attention to your duties. In the case of Murdoch, it is much easier to relate general responsibility to moral responsibility because what his staff were doing were breaches of the privacy which people justifiably assume exists over their private lives and social links. Even if it's the negative blame of neglect, this holds true: for the evil to prosper it enough that the good do nothing (to paraphrase the famous quotation). If you really think that noone can ever do anything other than what they in fact do, why are you engaging in this debate?

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Re: Murdoch and his UK media takeover.

#35 Post by Alan H » July 20th, 2011, 10:31 am

I don'y know if anyone watched the Murdochs yesterday in front of the Commons Committee, but Rupert didn't do that well! If anyone didn't hear his answers then, you might like to ask him a question yourself. By the power of the Internet: www.askmurdoch.co.uk
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There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Re: Murdoch and his UK media takeover.

#36 Post by Dave B » July 20th, 2011, 12:28 pm

He seemed to be the average lost-the-plot-slightly 80 year old bloke to me. Is this the shadow of the once dynamic ruler of an empire? Being humble is one thing but even that can be done in a positive way, not the pause-and-mumble from Murdock senior.

Not that I think junior did that much better in the parts I heard.
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Re: Murdoch and his UK media takeover.

#37 Post by animist » July 20th, 2011, 1:54 pm

Dave B wrote: Being humble is one thing but even that can be done in a positive way, not the pause-and-mumble from Murdock senior.
I think he meant "humiliating"

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Re: Murdoch and his UK media takeover.

#38 Post by AlexVocat » July 20th, 2011, 2:37 pm

He doesn't have a clue and so the share-holders will be pushing for a new guy. But his business is in owning businesses that make money. Of course he owns too much of the media in the UK and therefore this is an example of where money is indeed power. Why have the government not done something? This is a rhetorical question of course but it's still something that must be changed in the future.

So while all the above is true, he is not responsible for any of this. The tricky question IMO is to ask where the line is of responsibility is, or where the buck stops. Many would say that it is the editor's job to know about and put in place measures to prevent criminal activity. Fair enough, but this line is still largely arbitrary. It is definately not something that we can claim after the event has happened. People should be aware before taking the job exactly what they are responsible for. This isn't to criminalise them, but it is to say that they are immediately let go when such a failure takes place. Of course if the police find Brooks actually involved then that's a different matter altogether.
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Re: Murdoch and his UK media takeover.

#39 Post by Dave B » July 20th, 2011, 3:44 pm

There are still a lot of people who repeat, "He loves his newspapers", a theme that seems to go back a long way.

Yes, I agree that there may be a line of responsibility somewhere between the reporter's and Murdoch though, as one commenter commented yesterday (paraphrased and I may have the sum wrong, but the right order), "Who can sign a cheque for £300,000? Not a junior executive or possibly even a chief editor." The amount may have been the total spent on the hacking etc. and making it sound like a single cheque just a way of making it sound more important. But would an editor have the authority to spend that kind of money, even as a stream of smaller payments over months, without a more senior exec questioning it I wonder.
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Re: Murdoch and his UK media takeover.

#40 Post by AlexVocat » July 20th, 2011, 8:07 pm

Well it's something to discuss Dave. It's that kind of evidence that could incriminate Murdoch. But again, if a CEO of a company that I own came to me asking for money and gave satsifactory reasons then I would trust him and sign it. There is an argument that says that no company should be so big that the top man doesn't know what's going on at the lower levels but this is true of so many companies and works at several other levels. Is the CEO of Burger King responsible for the saliva in your burger? No. Instead procedures should be put in place to give responsibility to the relevant people based on size.
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Re: Murdoch and his UK media takeover.

#41 Post by Dave B » July 20th, 2011, 9:47 pm

Hmmm, there's a big can of worms here, Alex. It is impossible to monitor every worker at every level but how many ranls are there between a chief editor, say, and the proprietor? Once the CE reported directly to the Prop. If an organisation gets too big for that to happen then, is it simply too big?
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