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July 20 2011


Rupert Murdoch: "media’s world king of darkness" or victim of a "media crusade"?

Media against media, but what do the victims of the phone-hacking scandal say? How does the family of Milly Dowler feel? They should be first to ask. - The New York Observer would like to end what they call "a media crusade" against Rupert Murdoch. Anyway it's always the better choice to have a closer look at what went really wrong, and yes to hold those accountable for what happened who were in charge in the concrete case. 

Observer :: Rupert Murdoch has apologized, profusely and with genuine humility, to the family of Milly Dowler, the young murder victim whose phone was hacked into by reporters from News of the World. The family’s attorney said that Mr. Murdoch put his head in his hands as he expressed his grief. What more could he have done? How many publishers have apologized to families whose suffering has been exacerbated by media coverage? How many publishers would have closed a valuable property like News of the World? Mr. Murdoch did that, and more—he dropped his bid to purchase BSkyB, which was extremely important to him.

Continue to read www.observer.com

July 14 2011


"Bad news" - Press barons lose information monopoly in Twitter era

The phone-hacking scandal and how the whole story is also a mirror of a changing media and news landscape. At least if we like to follow the argumentation of Peter Apps who wrote this piece which sheds some light on the role of social media in the News of the World case. (Sorry for being so provocative in the headline, I mean the "bad news" part of it.)

Reuters :: But once the old-school investigative reporters of Britain's Guardian newspaper revealed hacking victims included teenage murder victim Milly Dowler, bombing victims and the families of Britain's war dead, social media and the Internet took over.

The initial story might have come from mainstream print media, but the online wave of outrage -- which swiftly turned to mass lobbying of advertisers, who deserted the paper in droves to save public face -- was something newer, the latest example of social media acting as an accelerant in a political crisis.

Continue to read Peter Apps, www.reuters.com

July 07 2011


The death of the News Of The World

What an incredible few days. The PCC’s statement yesterday was extraordinary – even if it turns out to be merely a cosmetic exercise. Today’s announcement that the News of the World will end as a brand is, as its mooted replacement would say, a “stunner”.

It took almost exactly 3 days – 72 hours – to kill off a 168-year-old brand. Yes, there were other allegations and two years in the lead up to The Guardian’s revelation that Milly Dowler was targeted by the newspaper. But Milly Dowler and the various other ordinary people who happened to be caught up in newsworthy events (kidnappings, victims of terrorist attacks, families of dead soldiers), were what turned the whole affair.

That story was published at 16.29 on Monday. Incredible.

We talk a lot about the disintermediation of the press – the fact that companies, governments and celebrities can communicate directly with the public. The targeting of the News Of The World’s advertisers, and the rapid mobilisation of thousands of signatures supporting an inquiry, demonstrated that that disintermediation works the other way too. Where once the media could have acted as a dampener on how public protest appeared to advertisers and Parliament, their powers to do so now are more limited.

So while The Sun may be moving to 7-day production, that doesn’t make this a rebranding or a relaunch. As of Monday, The News of the World brand is dead, 168 years of journalistic history (not to mention 200 jobs) offered up as a sacrifice.

Whether that sacrifice is accepted, and to what extent, is yet to be seen. In the meantime, the significance of this shouldn’t be underestimated.

This post originally appeared on the blog Facebook page

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