|Wee bit careless to present so few ethnic minority faces?|
Roy Greenslade has been discussing Murdoch's recent, rather surprising, use of Twitter to make public his previously 'private' (they were clear enough if you read his papers!) views and partisanship:
For Murdoch’s inner circle, such open political expression is a thing of wonder. Before the age of social media, he kept himself firmly in the background, careful not to expose his own public views while actively seeking to sway elections through the editorial endorsements in his many newspapers across the globe.“He made clear to his editors which politicians deserved support and those that didn’t,” said a former News Corporation executive. “But unless it was time for an endorsement, those conversations remained private.”The former executive added: “Now with his Twitter feed, the world can see how he is thinking all the time. Which is unusual for Rupert, who liked to keep his own counsel. It has surprised many of us to see him go so public.”Its worth reading his article in full. A bit more:
Murdoch watchers see the dual-track emoting of his Twitter feed and the editorial pages of his newspapers as symbiotic. The social media site does not only provide the media magnate a direct channel to vent his opinions – it also acts as a prompt for Murdoch’s editors, they say.
David Folkenflik, who is NPR’s media correspondent and the author of Murdoch’s World: The Last of the Old Media Empires, said that “Twitter has changed the ball-game. Every Murdoch editor around the world will be monitoring that feed very closely – they check it repeatedly – to see whether he’s expressed himself again.”
As the power of newspapers has waned amid the fragmentation of digital discourse, the relationship between Murdoch and his newspapers has arguably turned upside-down. Before the proliferation of other news sites, he used his newspapers to amplify his personal political views; today, with the News Corp empire bigger than ever, he uses his personal Twitter feed to amplify the influence of his newspapers.
As the former News Corp executive put it: “As newspaper endorsements become less and less important, this is one way for him to maintain a high political profile.”
That trend remains visible in the UK, where Murdoch pushed the power of newspaper endorsements to the limit with the Sun’s famous 1992 front page on the day after the Conservative party’s general election victory: “It’s the Sun Wot Won It”. Today, the Sun has to work that much harder to have the same impact – this week it launched the endorsement process for the UK’s May general election, 100 days before the event. It dubbed the paper’s campaign the “Sunifesto” and flagged it as “100 days to save Britain”.
THE SUNIFESTO: ANALYSIS
As to that 'Sunifesto', there are a few especially interesting points to consider:
(1) A hint that Murdoch's September 2014 meeting with Farage in the US will lead to the Sun and/or Times (which, as Greenslade notes in the above article, published an editorial praising Farage shortly after that meeting); under Politics, these are listed:
(2) Murdoch's business agenda forms part of this; the BBC (Sky's main rival) gets its own section (this builds on James Murdoch's series of speeches attacking the BBC in recent years, plus of course the incessant flak from within the Murdoch press and other right-wing papers):
(3) This is much less widely known or discussed, but Murdoch has stated that News Corp's education wing could become the most profitable, dominant part of his global empire, and the Sunifesto includes policies that would help Murdoch make money from UK education. His extensive links with former Education Secretary Michael Gove, and the mutual love-in, are well documented (see here and here for Guardian posts [this came up during RM's Leveson testimony], here for a left-wing site's analysis [use ctrl/cmd+F to search for murdoch] and scroll to end of post for sample quotes):
— Expand free schools programme.
(4) Yet more that favours his business - government subsidy for his employees' wages!
— Government savings to be turned into tax cuts for firms to raise low wages.
(5) Given how outraged the press when its 'freedom of speech' is questioned, and given the fourth estate's function as the central democratic check and safeguard against over-powerful politicians and elites, the crass hypocrisy in campaigning for yet further police snooping power is just extraordinary, though there is another 'free speech' section which contradicts this:
— Give spooks/police surveillance powers against terror – but approved by judge.
— Britain must be free to speak, within the law.
Here's what it lists (SOURCE: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/politics/6299338/The-Sunifesto-The-Suns-vision-for-a-better-Britain.html):