|Posted on January 1, 2011 at 8:15 AM|
From: Alex Wilks - Avaaz.org 30 December 2010
Wow - in just 2 days, nearly 30,000 of us have signed the petition for an impartial investigation in the BSkyB Murdoch's decision. The next 24 hours are crucial, let's get to 50.000! Sign below and forward this email to everyone:
Dear friends across the UK,
Rupert Murdoch wants to buy his way to more media and political power with his bid for full ownership of BSkyB. We only have 4 days to press the government to initiate a full review of what this would mean for our media.
This week sees a vital test for our democracy. How we act now
will determine whether – in new years to come - our media is dominated by a few corporate bullies or sustained by diverse independent voices. The Prime Minister has stripped Vince Cable of responsibility for judging the BSkyB media takeover because Cable stated strong views on Rupert Murdoch. But – ridiculously – David Cameron has given the task to another minister who’s clearly biased. Jeremy Hunt says he is a massive Murdoch fan. We can’t trust Hunt to stop Murdoch dragging our public debate into the gutter, as he has done in the US.
Let’s urgently show Jeremy Hunt and David Cameron how we feel. If we make a big fuss the government won’t be able to wave through the Murdoch deal and will be forced to order a full and fair review by the Competition Commission. Sign the petition and send to friends and family - Avaaz and 38 Degrees will deliver it this Friday
If it buys the rest of BSkyB TV on top of the many newspapers it already owns, Murdoch’s News Corporation could soon control half of UK national newspapers and television. This would fly in the face of the law guaranteeing ‘media plurality’. But this law is new and untested, and the government needs guts to uphold it in the face of Murdoch’s powerful political machine.
Regulator Ofcom is due to submit its assessment of Murdoch’s plans on new year’s eve. Then it’s up to Jeremy Hunt to decide what to do next. He can either say OK to the deal, or refer it to the Competition Commission – for a full assessment that includes plurality, or a limited commercial review, as if this was the market for washing machines. Worryingly Hunt seems to see the media that way – his website states that Rupert Murdoch “has probably done more to create variety and choice in British TV than any other single person”.
We know that the Murdoch family doesn’t just own newspapers, but wields major political influence.
Rupert Murdoch and his son James have had several meetings with David Cameron and Jeremy Hunt since the election. The Murdochs presumably pressed for concessions to increase their commercial empire – including by attacking the BBC. Murdoch’s Fox News has pushed an aggressive line against action on climate change and for the war in Iraq.
This decision is one of the most important that this government will take – and can’t be based on one minister’s opinion following a rushed portfolio swap. To keep our media in safe hands let’s sign the petition calling for a review that will guarantee a diverse and fair media.
In the world we are striving to create vital decisions will be taken on the basis of heartfelt principles, not high politics. This review is our chance to ensure our media can hold our politicians and businesses to account for many years into the future.
Determined to end the year with another great campaign,
Alex, Ricken, Luis, Brianna and the whole Avaaz team
Conservative links to Murdoch under scrutiny as private meeting revealed Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt held private talks with James Murdoch shortly after News Corp announced BSkyB offer, Guardian 22 December 2010
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