Hanif on Media

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Now, who will lay bare Rupert Murdock’s shenanigans on this side of the pond?

July 14th · 2 Comments · 9/11, Alan Rusbridger, Juan Cole, news media, Newspapers, The Guardian

The News of the World debacle is a huge media story — and in typical fashion, our “Fair & Balanced” major news media organizations generally don’t know how to deal with it. Namely, by stating the facts. Such as:
“It seems increasingly likely that the techniques of bullying, coercion, spying, and the politics of personal destruction common at the News of the World were not limited to this one piece of the Murdoch media empire. Even short of hacking, Murdoch’s properties often behave like cults, not news organizations. We have known for a long time that Fox Cable News instructs reporters on how to spin the news and promotes fascist demagogues in the evening magazine shows.” — Professor Juan Cole at Informed Comment: “Is Murdoch’s Media Empire A Cult?”

This week, Murdock tried to head it all off by backing out of his $12 billion BSkyB satellite broadcast takeover bid. Today, the Guardian reported that “A threat of imprisonment by parliament forced Rupert Murdoch and his son James to perform a volte face and agree to give evidence next week to a Commons committee investigating why News International executives provided false information to MPs.”
It couldn’t happen to more deserving guys. As things continue falling apart, here for those just tuning in are a couple of compelling videos that really lay bare the Murdoch mess. 
The first features Alan Rusbridger, editor of the Guardian, who I’ve greatly admired since I first got to know him during our annual international Organization of News Ombudsmen meetings:

The second features Nick Davies, the amazing reporter who refused to take no for a story:


Now, who will lay bare Murdock’s shenanigans on this side of the pond? Just in from the Guardian“FBI launches investigation into allegations that 9/11 victims’ phones were targeted.” Faux News anyone? Fixed News? I’m surprised that anyone’s surprised.
— C.B. Hanif


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2 Comments so far ↓

  • Charles Keefer

    volte face

    Wow. I have never seen anyone use that term except for this science fiction novel I read in high school.

    Volte-face (pronounced /vɒltˈfɑːs/ or /voʊltˈfɑːs/) is a total change of position, as in policy or opinion; an about-face.
    The expression comes through French, from Italian voltafaccia and Portuguese volte face, composed of volta (turn) and faccia (face).
    In the context of politics a volte-face is, in modern English, often referred to as a U-turn or a flip-flop in the UK and the US respectively.

  • admin

    CeeBee to CeeKay: Have to confess it was a new one on me; had to look it up. And so telling, it coming from the Guardian. I recall first meeting the editor, Alan Rusbridger, over lunch during our ONO meeting hosted by one of the newspapers in Instanbul, during which he asked all about how we approached the role of ombudsman. Soon the Guardian hosted our annual meeting, one of our best (you may appreciate the photo here). Moreover, their ombud, Ian Mayes, became one of our best, and later our president, presiding over our Sao Paulo meet. Meanwhile we got to hear Alan’s wisdom at subsequent meetings, such as at Harvard. Ninth or tenth biggest paper in Britain, he recently said of the Guardian, but on the web, second best-read English language paper in the world. And unlike with Murdock, no volte face yet.

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