The stench emanating from the fall of Robert Murdoch’s Sun tabloid, I can’t call it a newspaper, continues to worsen. Scotland Yard has arrested four former executives at the now defunct publication for allegedly bribing police. The interesting thing is that the collars come as the result of News Corporation (read Murdoch) handing the police some information that led to the arrests.
The Telegraph reports that those inside the company referred to the move as ‘draining the swamp.’ Of course to drain the swamp one must own, if not have created the swamp. One of, if not the most powerful media conglomerates has been shown to have no journalistic standards and an equal amount of morals.
What is of concern is that somewhere in News Corp’s plans has to be increasing revenues from the United States. Already owning FOX Television FOX News and the Wall Street Journal, it is safe to assume there are varying degrees of standards among the company’s news properties. In particular FOX News’ conservative bent make me suspect of their reporting, the same way I am suspect of MSNBC’s liberal stance. At least these biases are outwardly visible allowing the viewer the opportunity to make a judgement as to the value of the ‘information’ presented.
Once the attention over the operation of the Sun fades will it be business as usual at News Corp? More importantly, will the tabloid style spread to America? It is fashionable among the American media establishment to say the ‘British style’ would never work here. Never say never when it comes to making money. If News Corp were able to get ratings/circulation would the followers of Murrow and Cronkite serve as a bulwark against our mainstream media going down the slippery slope? After all big ratings shows that media is only giving the people what they want and if it makes a lot of money even better! The bottom line is at what cost?