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RUPERT MURDOCH: HERO OR VILLAIN?

27-05-2010

Is it time to re-evaluate the British media’s “Mr Nasty” Rupert Murdoch? You bet says Stirrer editor Adrian Goldberg.

At the weekend I was discussing Sky's footy coverage with my mate and saying how it directed cash to the lower divisions - leagues previously ignored by the Beeb and ITV

My mate, who was taking the other view was getting a tonking, and burst out - "you might be right, but I just hate Rupert Murdoch."

The truth is that so many people do - presumably going back to the strike busting days of Wapping and the 80's – not to mention his papers’ vociferous support for Margaret Thatcher, John Major, and more recently David Cameron.

But hey, isn't it time to move on? Rupe isn’t the devil incarnate, just a remarkably successful and no doubt appropriately ruthless businessman.

Surely no one these days would defend the print unions' industrial practices, and Murdoch is one of the few proprietors to run a paper – The Sun - at a profit. He used the cash to help sustain the excellent Times – incidentally, the first quality tabloid.

Those who complain about his political influence may have a point – but there were few grumbles from the left when he used that power to support Tony Blair.

With Sky Sports Murdoch has pumped millions into footy, rugby and cricket, and while none of this is without self interest, he has been a true entrepreneur - taking risks through innovation, generating tax revenues, creating jobs.

Remember, Britain didn’t have 24 hour telly news until Sky came along and there were no shortage of Jeremiah’s predicting doom and gloom.

It’s the same now that he’s trying to make online news pay.

Only time will tell whether he’s successful, but surely anyone with an interest in seeing journalism thrive will wish him well – even his old adversaries at the NUJ

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