22 thoughts on “Murdoch’s Sky News new hacking scandal

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  17. Friday 30th June 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Editorial

    ONLY government parliamentary weakness has prevented Rupert Murdoch’s bid to take full control of Sky getting the go-ahead from Culture Secretary Karen Bradley.

    Punting the deal into the long grass of further indepth investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to examine the Murdochs’ excessive influence in news provision amounts to playing for time. It beggars belief that Bradley or Ofcom could have allowed the process to have come this far rather than halting it on the issue of the applicants being fit and proper persons to hold a broadcasting licence.

    There is little doubt that Bradley’s predecessor John Whittingdale would have approved the 21st Century Fox bid to swallow up the 61 per cent of Sky it doesn’t already own but for the intervening circumstance of the media phone-tapping scandal.

    It would have been politically difficult to have proceeded with the deal when the image of a Murdoch employee hacking the voicemail of a murdered girl’s phone and deleting material to provide memory for new messages to be eavesdropped on was still vivid in people’s memories.

    However, Whittingdale and Damian Collins, who chaired the culture, media and sport select committee in the last parliament, are still in Murdoch’s corner, telling Bradley that internet companies and social media now assume greater importance in providing news than traditional media outlets.

    Former Labour leader Ed Miliband is correct to point out that the Murdoch stable has always been adept at giving good-conduct undertakings and then breaking them.

    Right-wing politicians of whatever party have made a virtue of sucking up to Rupert Murdoch and his empire, believing that they are too weak to stand up to them. They should turn their backs on learned helplessness, grow a spine, accept the need for greater media diversity rather than uniformity and learn to say no to Murdoch.



  18. Wednesday 9th July 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Britain

    THE government is seeking further advice from Ofcom on Rupert Murdoch’s £11.7 billion bid to take over Sky, having received “new evidence and comments.”

    The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has written to the competition watchdog ahead of a decision from Culture Secretary Karen Bradley on whether the proposed merger should face in-depth investigation.

    The move follows previous warnings from Ofcom about “public interest concerns” relating to media plurality.

    It said that Murdoch-owned 21st Century Fox’s acquisition of the 61 per cent of Sky that it doesn’t own would risk giving the media tycoon “increased influence” over Britain’s news agenda.

    The DCMS said it is “seeking further clarification in relation to representations made on the Secretary of State’s referral decision.”

    The DCMS has given Ofcom until August 25 to reply.



  19. Friday 15th September 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Britain

    by Felicity Collier

    LABOUR called yesterday for a full probe into Rupert Murdoch’s Sky takeover bid by the competition watchdog.

    It followed Culture Minister Karen Bradley’s announcement that Fox’s £11.7 billion plan will be put before the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

    Mr Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox is attempting to acquire the 61 per cent of Sky it does not already own.

    Ms Bradley has referred the merger for an investigation on grounds of media plurality and broadcasting standards, though she will make the final decision.

    Claims about misconduct at Fox News in the US will be looked at by the CMA. They include alleged racial and sexual harassment, and the fabrication of quotes relating to the unsolved murder of a US Democratic National Committee aide.

    Labour’s shadow culture secretary Tom Watson MP said: “We now need a comprehensive CMA investigation that looks at all relevant evidence, including historic corporate governance failures at News International and more recent failures at Fox in America.”

    Josef Davies-Coates, national organiser for the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom, welcomed the referral, but warned: “The CMA is not a media regulator. They care mostly about markets and consumers.”

    He said that it was vital that the second part of the Leveson inquiry be carried out, into the extent of criminal behaviour at the now-renamed News International and other organisations, as well as the involvement of the police.

    However, the Tories pledged in their manifesto this year not to carry out the second part of the probe.

    The National Union of Journalists also said it had “no confidence in Murdoch’s ability to maintain or promote broadcasting standards.”

    The Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom is planning on launching a Stop Murdoch crowdfunding campaign.



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