Media witch-hunt missing issue of all-powerful BBC

Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy Hunt

First published in Editor Ian Murray's Blog Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Editor-in-chief

AS the political in-fighting goes on around the career – or possibly soon to be lack of career – of Culture and Media Secretary Jeremy Hunt and what he thought about the proposed BSkyB takeover he was considering, the central theme appears to be getting lost.

The question at the heart of the debate was, and should still be, whether Rupert Murdoch’s media empire should have been given permission to take full control of the satellite TV provider it already owned a major stake in?

If anyone takes the time to read the now notorious email from Mr Hunt to the Prime Minister David Cameron on the issue, sent before he was appointed to consider the matter, it lays out the central argument.

Was it wrong, Mr Hunt asks, for Mr Murdoch’s News Corp to move into a new age where the company’s forms of media could converge – newspapers, online, TV – when the BBC was already there in so many ways?

Why were there concerns about the power of the Murdoch empire when the BBC already had so much influence on opinion in this country?

That question has been lost in the brouhaha that has followed the phonehacking scandal, the setting up of the Leveson public enquiry and other probes into the media and the Murdoch empire in particular.

It has been lost in a roar of disapproval from most opposition MPs who smell political blood, the non-Murdoch press and, of course, the BBC.

Lost also is the small matter that News Corp did not take over all of BSkyB and it is not known what final decision Mr Hunt would have come to.

But once all of this witch-hunt – for that is what it has now become – is finally over and those in the dock, guilty and innocent, have been punished, will anyone return to the central question of what to do to counter an all-powerful BBC that influences, fashions and in many ways dictates so much of how we live our lives in this country?

Somehow I doubt it.

How the witch hunters will gloat.

Comments (12)

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5:29pm Fri 1 Jun 12

dennytg says...

Can you tell me what Daily, or Weekend newspaper the BBC produce ? I haven't seen one.
The whole investigation is whether News Corporation would acquire a monopoly of the news, with their daily newspapers, weekend newspapers, TV, On line, Satellite etc. Your prejudice is showing.
Can you tell me what Daily, or Weekend newspaper the BBC produce ? I haven't seen one. The whole investigation is whether News Corporation would acquire a monopoly of the news, with their daily newspapers, weekend newspapers, TV, On line, Satellite etc. Your prejudice is showing. dennytg
  • Score: 0

11:04am Mon 4 Jun 12

peenut81 says...

Ian Murray= APOLOGIST FOR NEO LIBERAL WAR MONGERING, FASCIST NEWSPAPER EDITORS AND THEIR POLITICAL PUPPETS. i HOPE YOU KNOW IAN THAT YOU ARE NOT 'ONE OF THEM', THEY WILL USE YOU AND THEN DUMP YOU WHEN YOU ARE SURPLUS TO REQUIREMENTS. YOU ARE THE WORSE SORT OF BOURGEOIS SCUM DEFENDING THE RIGHT OF THE RICH TO OPPRESS AND MANIPULATE US.
Ian Murray= APOLOGIST FOR NEO LIBERAL WAR MONGERING, FASCIST NEWSPAPER EDITORS AND THEIR POLITICAL PUPPETS. i HOPE YOU KNOW IAN THAT YOU ARE NOT 'ONE OF THEM', THEY WILL USE YOU AND THEN DUMP YOU WHEN YOU ARE SURPLUS TO REQUIREMENTS. YOU ARE THE WORSE SORT OF BOURGEOIS SCUM DEFENDING THE RIGHT OF THE RICH TO OPPRESS AND MANIPULATE US. peenut81
  • Score: 0

11:12am Mon 4 Jun 12

peenut81 says...

''Why were there concerns about the power of the Murdoch empire when the BBC already had so much influence on opinion in this country?''
I will tell you why, Because the BBC does not promote invading third world countries, unlike Murdoch, because the BBC gives limited airtime to racists like Kelvin Mackenzie, Murdoch's favourite editor, because the BBC is not perfect but News International is just plain dangerous, it exists as part of a global network of information providers, with more interest in profit than genuine journalism. News International is the mouthpiece of the 1% and brainwashes with crude propaganda to persuade working class folk in this country that their country is overrun by criminals, immigrants and spongers, rather like this cheap little rag you edit.
''Why were there concerns about the power of the Murdoch empire when the BBC already had so much influence on opinion in this country?'' I will tell you why, Because the BBC does not promote invading third world countries, unlike Murdoch, because the BBC gives limited airtime to racists like Kelvin Mackenzie, Murdoch's favourite editor, because the BBC is not perfect but News International is just plain dangerous, it exists as part of a global network of information providers, with more interest in profit than genuine journalism. News International is the mouthpiece of the 1% and brainwashes with crude propaganda to persuade working class folk in this country that their country is overrun by criminals, immigrants and spongers, rather like this cheap little rag you edit. peenut81
  • Score: 0

8:23pm Mon 4 Jun 12

Ant Smoking MP says...

"Was it wrong, Mr Hunt asks, for Mr Murdoch’s News Corp to move into a new age where the company’s forms of media could converge – newspapers, online, TV – when the BBC was already there in so many ways?"
.
Big difference Ian. The BBC belongs to us. Sky doesnt.
"Was it wrong, Mr Hunt asks, for Mr Murdoch’s News Corp to move into a new age where the company’s forms of media could converge – newspapers, online, TV – when the BBC was already there in so many ways?" . Big difference Ian. The BBC belongs to us. Sky doesnt. Ant Smoking MP
  • Score: 0

2:57pm Tue 5 Jun 12

Dave Juson says...

This reads like a tame reworking of James Murdoch’s risible slagging off of the BBC at Edinburgh in 2009. The problem was, as many commentators observed at the time, that while the BBC has its faults, it is universally regarded as the most reliable and trustworthy media service on the planet, and the criticism – irony of ironies – emanated from the son of Rupert Murdoch, who is universally regarded as the major figure behind some of the least reliable and trustworthy media outlets on the planet.
.
The Leveson Inquiry is obviously causing a lot of pain to those who would like to see a British version of Fox “News” available at the touch of a button, but it is certainly not a witch hunt. It’s a civilized investigation into dubious practices of institutions, such as the Sun and the News of the World, the Daily Mail and their ilk, that all too frequently conduct witch hunts. Come to think of it, your hands aren’t to clean when it comes to persecuting people are they Mr Murray?
This reads like a tame reworking of James Murdoch’s risible slagging off of the BBC at Edinburgh in 2009. The problem was, as many commentators observed at the time, that while the BBC has its faults, it is universally regarded as the most reliable and trustworthy media service on the planet, and the criticism – irony of ironies – emanated from the son of Rupert Murdoch, who is universally regarded as the major figure behind some of the least reliable and trustworthy media outlets on the planet. . The Leveson Inquiry is obviously causing a lot of pain to those who would like to see a British version of Fox “News” available at the touch of a button, but it is certainly not a witch hunt. It’s a civilized investigation into dubious practices of institutions, such as the Sun and the News of the World, the Daily Mail and their ilk, that all too frequently conduct witch hunts. Come to think of it, your hands aren’t to clean when it comes to persecuting people are they Mr Murray? Dave Juson
  • Score: 0

4:35pm Wed 6 Jun 12

ECHO echo echo echo says...

Any employee of the Echo is hardly neutral in this debate. The Echo is owned by Newsquest - which in turn is owned by the UK subsidiary of the Gannett Media group; the largest newspaper distributer in the US and owner of dozens of titles including USA Today (and many "local" UK papers). As a large media group, of course it wants to attack the BBCs share of the market - if people hear the Murdoch / Gannett point of view often enough (and they lobby hard enough), it will start to influence political decisions relating to the BBC - if it is weakened then Gannett, Murdoch et al can move in to fill the vacuum.
Any employee of the Echo is hardly neutral in this debate. The Echo is owned by Newsquest - which in turn is owned by the UK subsidiary of the Gannett Media group; the largest newspaper distributer in the US and owner of dozens of titles including USA Today (and many "local" UK papers). As a large media group, of course it wants to attack the BBCs share of the market - if people hear the Murdoch / Gannett point of view often enough (and they lobby hard enough), it will start to influence political decisions relating to the BBC - if it is weakened then Gannett, Murdoch et al can move in to fill the vacuum. ECHO echo echo echo
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6:14pm Thu 7 Jun 12

cliffwalker says...

I am disappointed to see the editor in chief of our local paper defending the Murdock empire and attacking the BBC. He must know better than any of us that there are no grounds for comparison.

Will this nonesense, promote the editor's career, perhaps?
I am disappointed to see the editor in chief of our local paper defending the Murdock empire and attacking the BBC. He must know better than any of us that there are no grounds for comparison. Will this nonesense, promote the editor's career, perhaps? cliffwalker
  • Score: 0

6:59pm Thu 7 Jun 12

Swaythling Boy says...

I am of the view that, like much else lately, The Southern Daily Echo is very far from an impartial observer on this subject. Once The Daily Echo is subject to the same controls on impartiality that the BBC is, then it can complain. But it isn't so it can't. Besides, this witch hunt is one of the few to have found one, in Rebecca Brooks.
I am of the view that, like much else lately, The Southern Daily Echo is very far from an impartial observer on this subject. Once The Daily Echo is subject to the same controls on impartiality that the BBC is, then it can complain. But it isn't so it can't. Besides, this witch hunt is one of the few to have found one, in Rebecca Brooks. Swaythling Boy
  • Score: 0

11:24pm Thu 7 Jun 12

Markmag says...

Yet another hugely deluded illogical and ultimately annoyingly wrong rant against the BBC by the Editor of the once successful Southern Daily Echo.

Assuming he actually believes any of this, it's clearly wrong to the core. The BBC has hugely less power than any other media organisation, in that in everything that it does it answers to us, the British public. And we get this for less than the cost of a daily newspaper. What control do we have over huge US based publishing empires such as newscorp or Gannett? None, which is why you get away with writing such twaddle. When the BBC try to cut local radio, people are (quite rightly) angry and protest. When Gannett decide decide The Southern Daily Echo doesn't need an individual editor any more (like the Bournemouth and Dorset Echos) will anyone even notice Mr Murray pick up his P45? Maybe that's what really stings - people care about the BBC, no one cares about your rag.
Yet another hugely deluded illogical and ultimately annoyingly wrong rant against the BBC by the Editor of the once successful Southern Daily Echo. Assuming he actually believes any of this, it's clearly wrong to the core. The BBC has hugely less power than any other media organisation, in that in everything that it does it answers to us, the British public. And we get this for less than the cost of a daily newspaper. What control do we have over huge US based publishing empires such as newscorp or Gannett? None, which is why you get away with writing such twaddle. When the BBC try to cut local radio, people are (quite rightly) angry and protest. When Gannett decide decide The Southern Daily Echo doesn't need an individual editor any more (like the Bournemouth and Dorset Echos) will anyone even notice Mr Murray pick up his P45? Maybe that's what really stings - people care about the BBC, no one cares about your rag. Markmag
  • Score: 0

11:30pm Thu 7 Jun 12

Markmag says...

Sorry if that seems very strong. I'm hugely passionate about quality local journalism. Gannett certainly aren't. And Ian Murray's constant rants against the only decent source of local journalism we'll have once Gannett decides to reduce the Echo to a single weekly collection of adverts with minimum editorial and one journalist left really grates.
Sorry if that seems very strong. I'm hugely passionate about quality local journalism. Gannett certainly aren't. And Ian Murray's constant rants against the only decent source of local journalism we'll have once Gannett decides to reduce the Echo to a single weekly collection of adverts with minimum editorial and one journalist left really grates. Markmag
  • Score: 0

2:58pm Fri 8 Jun 12

skeptik says...

One of the national daily 'newspapers' is on an anti BBC campaign. It is rather coy about it's shareholdings in commercial TV stations. The paper has become the Kim Kardashian Daily for months it has not missed a day when she was not in at least one story and made the headlines last week! I fear the rise of the media studies journalist has arrived.
One of the national daily 'newspapers' is on an anti BBC campaign. It is rather coy about it's shareholdings in commercial TV stations. The paper has become the Kim Kardashian Daily for months it has not missed a day when she was not in at least one story and made the headlines last week! I fear the rise of the media studies journalist has arrived. skeptik
  • Score: 0

7:13pm Fri 8 Jun 12

memush says...

I m fed up with all of it--solicitors etc must be making a bomb out of this. I assume that the tax payer will foot the bill.
I m fed up with all of it--solicitors etc must be making a bomb out of this. I assume that the tax payer will foot the bill. memush
  • Score: 0

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