Monday, July 18, 2011

Crash landing plights in Murdoch’s Media Empire

The Rise and fall of Rupert Murdoch and his News Corporation

July 17th 2011 will be written bold in the world history of media as the fall of the media emperor, Rupert Murdoch, and the News International Corporation. He was trounced by the allegations in his empire followed by the phone hacking scandal in Britain. His newspaper ‘News of the World’ turned out to be a murky area of the empire against his hope that he could always hide the corruption, lies and the law breaking as part of the news ‘creation’.

Keith Rupert Murdoch inherited ‘News limited’ from his father in 1953. Firstly, he proved his business ability by acquiring the troubled news papers in Australia and New Zealand during 50’s and 60’s. In 1969, he expanded his empire to Britain by taking over then unsuccessful newspapers, News of the World and The Sun which he built later into Britain’s best selling dailies. By buying The Times, he expanded his market to US and procured US citizenship. By 2000, Murdoch’s News Corporation owned over 800 companies in more than 50 countries.

Developing a standardized pattern for his newspapers, adopting newer electronic publishing technologies with increased coverage to sports and scandals, highlighted with catchy headlines, Rupert anchored the flag of power in media. The yearly income of the News Corporation comprising of about 130 daily newspapers, 25 periodicals, and the TV channels ranging from the Fox News in America, Star TV and National Geographic to Kerala’s Asianet channel comes to about $ 3000Crore.

The modern trends in mass media and the explosion of news updates and highlights in the audio visual channels 24/7 had created an unseen fight for existence for the press media. It became unavoidable that to stand upright with these TV channels, the newspapers had to publish something sensational and authenticated. Murdoch’s Corporation had given acquiescence for the filthy custom of phone tapping and bribing for making their each daily issue a sensational. Even they appointed private detectives in media. By the time, the newspapers in the western countries have copied the custom of bribing and phone taping illegally for the benefit of the business. The situation collapsed when ‘The Guardian’ the press opponent of Rupert Murdoch’s ‘News of the World’ in Britain hoot the details of phone taping of a 13 year old girl who has been murdered in 2002. It was yet another business high-jack made “the Guardian” to open up the flaw rather than conserving human rights or press laws. Rival Newspapers, Metropolitan police investigations and politicians from all parties continued to throw accusations of phone hacking, bribing and other illegal investigative methods of journalism towards News Corporation. The protests of the people of Britain made the British consulate to take action against the Scandal. In the Parliament, Rupert Murdoch washed his hands brilliantly blaming the reporters involved in the scandal. He argued that his empire has over 5000 employees and hence can’t take the responsibility of illegal deed of one among them. The Imperialistic British government could not advocate silence for long due to the people protest and following agitations.

The confusions and the deteriorating news on the News Corporation reviewed loss in stock exchange market for the Murdoch’s company shares. Thus Murdoch decided to put an end to the controversial newspaper, News of the World, avoid further crash land to his business from an unknown height. Thus on July 17th the last edition of News of the World came out with the head line ‘We are Sorry’. The tower built with the scandalous blocks crashed down to Murdoch’s feet by the hit of another scandal.

Like any other institutions of the society Media too is in an evolution. The modern trends in media influences the society to a great extends. These new trends good and bad coins the phrase "The medium is the message" by Marshall McLuhan. There are various loopholes where media can reconstruct or destruct the society. Even though there is no press media giant as Rupert Murdoch in India, Indian media has visible signs of 'Rupert’s syndrome' of news sensation which shall be discussed thoroughly to be vigilant.