News Corporation

“insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of a conviction”

It’s a headline I fear lies in my future as well.

British prosecutors have closed their mammoth phone hacking probe, ending a four-year investigation that rocked the political and media establishment to the core.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) on Friday (local time) said it would take no further action against News Group Newspapers (NGN), global media baron Rupert Murdoch’s British tabloid publisher.

England’s state prosecutors also said there would be no further action against 10 journalists from the rival Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) – among them former Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan.

The phone hacking scandal, which first emerged in 2006 and resurfaced explosively in 2011, engulfed top newspaper executives, police chiefs and politicians.

It swiftly sank the expose-led News of the World weekly tabloid, which was Britain’s biggest-selling newspaper.

The probes into voicemail interception and other alleged media crimes amounted to the biggest police investigation in British history. Read more »

Will NZME and Fairfax implement a paywall?

Will NZME implement a paywall?

The answer is probably yes. The reasons are varied, but one reason is that they think they have got their model right and it will be successful. Or at least APN their parent company thinks that way.

Publishers across the world are at a crossroads. There are two alternatives they face at this point: pull up stumps after investing in expensive paid content strategies deciding they’ve hit a barrier they can’t get over, or hold their nerve and look to break the subscriptions ceiling that confronts many of them?

If there was one moment that stood out at the International News Media Association (INMA) 2015 World Congress this week it was when Australian moderator, and former Sydney Morning Herald editor, Robert Whitehead polled the room full of top media executives, from around the world, on their support for paywalls.

Whitehead first asked everyone who had a paywall to stand and, in a room of 200-300 people, maybe 75 per cent stood up.

He then asked (without naming anyone) for those who didn’t think their paywall was working for them to sit. Around a third of those standing sat.

Whitehead then polled the room again asking those who had reservations or who would not recommend paywalls to another publisher to sit, leaving only those “who thought they were doing it really well”. This left only around ten newspaper executives standing.

Those left standing (and yes for the record: News, Fairfax and APN were all in the room) were representatives from the big media brands of the world: The New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.

Media brands with a deep reach who have achieved mass audience and are making it pay on the basis of their global audience.

Read more »

Media brainwashing, I don’t doubt it is happening here

The Australian has a great story about media student brainwashing in Australia via university courses.

Don’t think for even a moment that this stuff isn’t already happening here.

FIRST-year media students at some of the nation’s most prestigious universities are being taught the federal government’s media policy process is “corrupt”.

The 18-year-old students are also being told repeatedly that one of the world’s biggest employers of journalists, News Corp, uses “naked political pressure” to the detriment of democracy.

The Australian obtained the first-year course material for media and communications at University of Technology Sydney and The University of Sydney to examine what students are being taught about the media industry.

Over a period of five weeks, The Australian attended some lectures on an undercover basis and obtained the audio recordings of other lectures from students.

The University of Sydney course in particular is leading students to form a critical view of News Corp.

Lecturer Dr Penny O’Donnell teaches students that News Corp newspapers’ 2013 election coverage was driven by a corporate fear of the NBN — a claim that has no factual basis and is incorrect.

She also tells students, studying to become journalists, that the federal government’s media policy process is “corrupted” because it sacrifices public interest objectives in favour of corporate interests.

“We elect governments to act on our behalf so what happens to those public interest objectives?” she asks her class. “They are typically sacrificed to a process that’s very corrupted because it listens more to large corporations than it does to ordinary people. The latest battleground where you see this playing out is over control of the internet.”

Read more »

Outrage from other media because one paper writes a harsh editorial against Kevin Rudd

The news media are sanctimonious pricks at the best of times. They like to claim that they are “holding the politicians to account” and other spurious claims.

They are clearly quite happy mounting their own campaigns on behalf of and for politicians, parties and causes that they think are important to them.

But all hell breaks loose when someone breaks ranks and says something outside of the approved group think.

And with the election campaign just ONE day old we already know how Rupert Murdoch is going to vote. Not of course that he IS an Australian citizen.

However, when you control two-thirds of Australia’s newspapers you can make your choice with a lot more power than the ordinary voter.

And this morning, on page one, day one , Murdoch’s Daily Telegraph jumped in with both feet.

Normally, papers wait till polling day to tell the nation what they think.

And when they do so it’s in more measured tones.

But Rupert’s tabloids round the world have always punched hard. And for the last few months he’s been tweeting and twitching for the fight to begin.  Read more »

Good on ya Rupert

Rupert Murdoch is not one to take any prisoners. He is far more ruthless than the socialists running the Herald. TVNZ and TV3 put together, he has even managed to silence any scuttle-butt, rumours or innuendo concerning his ditching of the Hong Kong Floozie otherwise also known as the Deng-i Flu.

Now he has decided to get Rudd.

The arrival of Col Allan in Australia is making a lot of people uneasy.

Allan is a man widely known inside News Corporation as Col Pot, a play on the name of a Cambodian genocidal dictator.

He is News Corp’s most feared flamethrower in a company of flamethrowers and he has been sent to Australia by Rupert Murdoch himself. The purpose of his mission has become clear in recent days. One person who should rightly be disconcerted by Allan’s sudden secondment to Australia is the head of News Corporation Australia, Kim Williams. Several other executives should also be leery, but they are not Allan’s primary target.

His primary target is Kevin Rudd.

Old Rupert is going to have to pay some pretty serious cock tax

Poor old Rupert Murdoch is going to have to pay a lot of cock tax when his divorce goes through. A billion bucks looks to be around what she will get…that is a lot of hooter for sleeping with the old bloke.

Rupert Murdoch has filed for divorce from his wife, Wendi Deng, adding personal turmoil to the most turbulent era in the billionaire media tycoon’s 60-year career.

The News Corporation chairman, 82, said in a petition to New York’s supreme court that their 14-year marriage, his third and her second, had “broken down irretrievably” over the past six months.

His separation from Ms Deng, 44, who acted as his gatekeeper and personal bodyguard through the phone-hacking controversy that rocked his empire, shocked the media industry on Thursday.   Read more »

At least he is not a fraudster and convicted felon

Pot, Kettle….Conrad Black calls Rupert Murdoch a psychopath. I think I’d rather be called a psychopath than a fraudster and convicted felon:

THE former media magnate Conrad Black has labelled Rupert Murdoch a ”psychopath” and compared the News Corp boss to Joseph Stalin.

Lord Black, a former owner of London’s Daily Telegraph and former part-owner of Fairfax Media, spent three years in a US jail for fraud. He described Mr Murdoch as an ”astonishingly cold man”.

”He’s a psychopath … like Stalin, except that he doesn’t kill people,” Lord Black told The Independent in London. ”I’m not suggesting he’s a homicidal psychopath – he just severs people out of his life like that.

”I have great admiration for what he’s achieved but he’s a terrible man.”

He said the outcry overphone hacking was ”one of the all-time backflips of hypocrisy”.

”For 40 years [the establishment] knew how Murdoch ran his company and they did nothing but kiss his undercarriage,” Lord Black said.

Lord Black, who was released from jail in May, was speaking before an appearance to promote his memoirs.

Good on ya Rupert

Rupert tells it like it is. 

Rupert Murdoch  told shareholders they can take their money elsewhere if they do not like the way he runs News Corp as he sailed through his second meeting with investors since the hacking scandal tore through his media empire.

At the company’s annual meeting in Los Angeles, the chairman and chief executive announced he had seen off moves by dissident shareholders calling for him to appoint an independent chairman. He also blocked a move to end a dual-class share structure that allows him to control the company by owning the largest chunk of voting shares.

Intelligent TV

Liberty Scott

Many of the whingers crying over the spilt milk that is TVNZ7 are crying because “intelligent TV” has died…except it hasn’t as Liberty Scott explains:

Of course, intelligent TV is widely available and seen throughout NZ.  It’s called Sky.

Sky brought New Zealand 24-hour news in the form of CNN, and more recently multiple options ranging from the BBC, Sky News, France 24, Al Jazeera, Fox News, CCTV and the new channel for nutty conspiracy theorists who are anti-American – Russia Today.  New Zealanders have never had better access to news about Australia, the USA, UK, Europe, the Arab world, China and Russia.  It also brought multiple dedicated channels for documentaries and then classic movies, arthouse movies and well as the mass market entertainment channels it supplies.

Sky started by paying the government for its first network, a series of UHF frequencies, installed its own transmitters and bought content.  It spent the first seven or eight years losing money, and now gets into around half of New Zealand homes.  People who are prepared to pay for the content it provides, which is not just sport, not just movies, but far more content than state TV can ever provide.  Now we all know Sky succeeds because of sports coverage, but nobody would have predicted what it now brings, thanks to an open market, absence of foreign ownership restrictions and absence of local content quotas.

The liberal, mainly left are now eyeing up busting Sky’s chops. Have a look at Clare Curran’s tweets if you don’t believe me:


Liberty Scott continues:

A successful business, which has brought far more choice and intelligence to NZ television that any other broadcaster, is now in the firing line from one of those who asserted that she is against braindead TV.

I’d have more sympathy if those who wanted to Save TVNZ7 had raised money to set up their own TV channel – which of course you can in New Zealand, given that there are no legal barriers to entry and there is a surplus of digital TV frequencies available on Freeview.  It is a matter of money.

The problem is that the Save TVNZ7 people don’t want to put their money where their mouths are, they want to make everyonedo it.  So when the investors in Sky, have put their money in, have done so with no taxpayer subsidy at all, have been supported by around half of the adult population in subscriptions, you might wonder why they don’t like that very much.

David Beatson has at least formed a trust, we will see where that goes…my pick is nowhere because most of the people fighting to save TVNZ7 couldn’t even afford a jacket newer than 20 years old. They will simply want to pick the pockets of taxpayers more. Somehow a television channel with three shows a week featuring Martyn Bradbury just doesn’t do it for many people.

Rupert keeps making money

 The Telegraph

This will really piss off the pinkos. Evil Genius Rupert Murdoch just keeps making money.

Rupert Murdoch will face calls from Wall Street to return more of News Corporation’s multi-billion-dollar cash pile to shareholders, as his media empire prepares to report a double-digit hike in profits to more than $750m.