In a move that compares only with Berlusconi’s control of the Italian media, Jeremy Hunt (British Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport) has announced that after public consultation, Rupert Murdoch via his News Corporation empire, which presently owns about a third of BSyB shares, will be allowed to go ahead with its takeover bid and thus completely own BSkyB.
Recently a series of reports of criminal and indecent journalistic practices on the part of News of the World, Murdoch’s newspaper group have emerged — hacking the mobile phones of political figures, celebrities and, more objectionably, murdered school girl Millie Dowler, the Soham school girls killed by a paedophile, and the families of 7/7 bomb victim’s.
The organization “Avaaz” has been leading a campaign to flood with complaints the public consultation in order to stop Rupert Murdoch’s influence growing even more.
The text of the proposal reads:
Dear Mr. Cameron and Mr. Hunt,
The undertakings you are consulting on for the BSkyB takeover by News Corporation are not good enough and the takeover shouldn’t go ahead. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation already owns too much of our media and if this deal goes ahead would aggressively cross-promote its products, damaging rival news groups and restricting what we see and read.
The process for this deal is flawed. It looks at a limited set of issues, ignoring a major concern — that Murdoch trashes media standards and ignores regulators. Hacking and other scandals show how his media often violates ethics and the law. There are serious gaps in the deal you outlined, including no fixed financial penalties for breaches. News Corporation can’t be trusted to stick to it.
I call on you to refuse to grant News Corporation any further control of British media until the deal has been reviewed by the competition commission and a full judge-led public inquiry into the hacking scandal is completed.
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