Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch is trying to buy up BSkyB and he got the green light from the government to do so today. He already owns 39 per cent of the company and he controls the biggest national newspaper group. Owning the whole company – the richest broadcaster in Europe – would give his News Corporation a stranglehold on the British media.
The media regulator Ofcom said that in the public interest it should be referred to the Competition Commission for a full enquiry. Murdoch’s power grab for BSkyB seriously threatens what’s left of media plurality and diversity in the UK.
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, ignored this. Instead there have been secret talks to stitch up a deal. Sky News will be hived off into an independent company funded by News Corp. This is not the answer. If Murdoch pays, Murdoch will call the shots.
Murdoch used his vast global media empire to push war in Iraq and he undermines democracy by smearing politicians who act against his wishes. The News of the World ‘phone hacking scandal shows how the Murdoch press has poisoned the well of British journalism.
The BSkyB takeover must be referred to the Competition Commission, as Ofcom recommended. We cannot let vital questions of media policy be fixed in secret deals behind closed doors.
Contact your MP now, the issue must be discussed in parliament. Join the demonstration outside the offices of the DCMS 5.30pm this afternoon at 2-4 Cockspur Street, London SW1Y 5DH – just off Trafalgar Square. Also please sign the petition at http://avaaz.org/en/stop_rupert_murdoch_3/?slideshow
At 12.40 today over 257,000 had signed the petition against merger.