1. Why did Rupert Murdoch decide to shut down the British weekly News of the World? Please provide as much specific information as you can about the ongoing scandal in Britain.
Rupert Murdoch took the decision to shut down the News of the World because of the rising scandal related to the editor of the tabloid. To put it more precisely, the editor Andy Coulson was suspected of illegally paying the police for information during his editorship (Lyall, 1). As a result, the public grew hostile in relation to Murdoch’s media empire. At the same time, the scandal exposed a web of relationships between the Murdochs’ empire on the one hand and the police and politicians on the other (Lyall, 1). Hence, Murdoch was interested to stop the scandal fast through shutting down the paper.
2. What are previous examples of questionable journalistic practices that have gotten Murdoch’s media properties into trouble, both in the U.S. and other parts of the world?
Murdoch’s News Corporation has already been involved in a series of scandals. In this respect, it is worth mentioning anti-competitive business practices in Australia and the lawsuit filed by Kerry Strokes. Also, Murdoch bought out Turkish TV channel, TGRT, which had been previously confiscated by the Turkish Board of Banking Regulations.
3. Murdoch also owns 39 percent of BSkyB, the satellite broadcaster in Great Britain, and is trying to acquire 100 percent of the company. Do you think his closing of the News of the World is related to that potential acquisition? After doing outside research, explain what it will mean in terms of consolidated media and economic power if Murdoch succeeds in gaining control of BSkyB?
The shutdown of News of the World was closely intertwined with the attempt of Murdoch to establish total control over BSkyB. He tried to limit damage from the scandal and remove a possible obstacle to the takeover of British Sky Broadcasting, known as BSkyB (Lyall, 1). In fact, the decision by Rupert Murdoch’s media conglomerate, the News Corporation, to close the paper, The News of the World, seemed to be a calculated move to help protect Mr. Murdoch’s proposed $12 billion takeover of the pay-television company British Sky Broadcasting (Lyall, 1).
Lyall, S. “Scandal Shifts Britain’s Media and Political Landscape.” New York Times, 2011. Retrieved on July 17, 2011 from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/08/world/europe/08britain.html?_r=2&hp=&pagewanted=all\