Murdoch hasn’t won yet

The reports of Rupert Murdoch’s success in his quest to buy Newsday might be premature. I’m afraid that’s all they are, but at least it’s not a done deal yet. LI Biz Blog reports that there are other offers and that the Senate Commerce Committee has sent a resolution to the floor reimposing the ban on a newspaper and broadcast station in the same market. Bush, of course, would veto it, so just getting it passed would not be enough.  Of course.

When I wrote about this before, I was doing so mostly from the local perspective. Well, how would you feel  if you woke up one day out found out that Rupert Murdoch wanted a presence at the end of your driveway every morning? Not good, I bet. What really matters is what “local” really means. The two county area served by Newsday has a population similar to a good sized city. For Murdoch to be able to deliver that much misinformation to that many more people is something for everyone in the country to worry about. How long before they just go ahead and rename News Corp. “Big Brother”?

While I hope that the Commerce Committee prevails, or that one of the other players in this is successful, I’m not holding my breath. Murdoch tends to get what he wants. That happens when you’ve got money to burn, which apparently News Corp. does. The NY Post doesn’t make a profit. Murdoch doesn’t seem to care. My fallback hope is the Daily News decides if it can’t buy Newday, it can at least compete with it. It’s on our newstands now and always has been, but it would need a real Long Island edition to be the paper of choice for a majority here. It doesn’t sound totally impossible for an established paper in an adjacent market to accomplish if the will was there.

What makes this all such a problem is that newspapers are doing so badly financially, on the whole. Jaci Clement at Media Savvy has some ideas about not-for-profit news. It’s something to consider, since news-for-profit so often fails to rise to the challenge of informing the public.


2 responses to this post.

  1. If ever there is a name to strike fear in the heart of any serious news follower, it is Rupert Murdoch. Ten seconds of Fox TV or the Sun Newspaper is enough to show anyone the guy’s standards. Luckily he’s media outlets are restrained here but the man really is an aim low type. Sadly, as you say, he has the money and that counts for everything.


  2. Yeah, we don’t restrain anymore. We used to, but that was before we went crazy. Now we fear government but trust huge corporations to take care of everything.


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