Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ask 'GetUp!' to stop advertising with News Ltd.

Dear GetUp!

I support your current campaign for government funded paid parental leave.

However, I find it unacceptable that you have chosen a Rupert Murdoch publication to place your advertisement.

If you focussed on any other medium (such as billboards, independent publications - even APN or Fairfax press - at least they are Australian owned), I would consider donating to the campaign.

As well as contributing to the commodification of womens bodies and personal relationships, along with their continual reinforcement of backward sexual stereotypes, News Limited is a company that has done inestimable wilful damage to democracy, journalism and the environment in Australia and throughout the world.

If you absolutely insisted that you need to run your advertisement in the Murdoch press, they should pay you for lending them credibility they do not deserve.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

If you've been defamed, seek legal advice

From ABC online news:

Hanson to take on News Ltd papers

A lawyer for Pauline Hanson has confirmed the former One Nation leader
wants to start legal action against several News Limited newspapers.

Ms Hanson alleges she was defamed by the recent publication of explicit
pictures of a woman that wrongly purported to be her.

Ms Hanson is being represented by Sydney based Kalantzis Lawyers.

Stuart Littlemore QC has been hired to act as her barrister for any court


If you assume that there’s no hope,
you guarantee that there will be no hope.
If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom,
that there are opportunities to change things,
there’s a chance you may contribute to making a better world.
That’s your choice. - Noam Chomsky

Ridicule As Remedy

One of Murdoch's most effective weapons in his quest to control all of your media is his effort to cut off the old 'rivers of gold' which fed the original newspapers: the 'Classifieds' pages. He wants to kill the Classifieds as a source of revenue for any competitor. To do this he introduces the "Free for less than $500" advertisements into his papers in your local community and everyone else is supposed to race him to the bottom. At which point he has trashed the medium and he wins.

The great thing about his "Free" ads is that you can use them to take the piss out of his hopeless journalistic standards for "Free"! For example, someone placed this ad in his monopoly paper in the capital of Queensland (Brisbane's 'Courier-Mail'):

Bowen Hills is Murdoch's Brisbane nest, and that number is his editor's line.
They will never understand what they have done to journalism or the community, but they do get very pissed-off when they are ridiculed and their peers join in the laughter.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Blast From The Past

Every step you take , Rupert will be there - Mark Riley

'Sydney Morning Herald' [9/10/1999]

It is a solid hour of Rupert vision. A priceless peak at Murdoch's millennium. A rare glimpse of the 21st Century fox.

And the audience is suitably captivated.

It is no mean feat, for this is no ordinary audience. Wedged into the ballroom of New York's Grand Hyatt Hotel, pin-striped shoulder to pin-striped shoulder, are 500 of the world's highest-powered media brokers, stock analysts and investment bankers.

They have brushed off the opening bells down on Wall Street for the chance to take in a rare sermon from the Count of Media, Rupert Murdoch. The Australian-born mogul has agreed to be key note speaker on the final day of Goldman Sachs' annual media conference and these seats in the bursting auditorium are New York's most valued investment commodities of the day.

It is the sort of audience that could add a lazy few million dollars to the value of a company with the single tap of a computer key. Or carve off a few million as easily as slicing through their morning bagels.

It is the first time Murdoch has agreed to speak to them in six years and his theme appears to be "accretion". Translated, that means growth - "sustainable", "long-term", "dependable". It all means "money".

The brokers want to hear about the future of this accretion, about News Corp 2000, what this enigmatic, adventurous, unorthodox tycoon sees beyond the dazzling dawn of the digital age. His vision is pure, unadulterated, wall-to-wall, 24-hour Murdochia.

"Our view is that the successful media company of the future is one that will touch consumers' lives throughout the day, in every phase of their lives," he says. "We have structured our company to meet those needs. We are reaching people from the moment they wake up until they fall asleep.

"We give them their morning weather and traffic reports through our television outlets around the world. We enlighten and entertain them with such newspapers as The New York Post and The Times in London over breakfast or as they take the train to work.

"We update their stock prices and give them the world's biggest news stories every day through such news channels as Fox or Sky News and their companion Internet sites . . . When they get home in the evening, we entertain them with compelling, first-run entertainment on Fox or the day's biggest game on our broadcast, satellite and cable networks, or the best movies from 20th Century Fox Films, if they want to see a first-run movie.

"Before they go to bed, we give them the latest news. Then, hopefully, they can fall in to bed with one of our hundreds of new titles published every year through HarperCollins."

And that's just the beginning. Murdoch sees the digital age, with its satellite services and cable services and broadband, interactive, multi-service services, as redefining the meaning of mass media. Diversity? Sure thing. How would you like your Rupert vision? Television? Newspaper? Film? Video? Internet? Telephone? Analog? Digital? Fox? Star? Sky? Soccer? Gridiron? Rugby League - oh, well, he's still working on that.

The big news, so one investment banker in the audience confides, is the strategic alliance between Murdoch's TV Guide business and Gemstar International Group. The "sale" (if you believe the New York Times ) or "development" (if you prefer Murdoch's view) has handed him the greatest conceivable "platform" from which to launch his arsenal of on-screen, on-line content internationally.

"Consider this," says Murdoch, warming to his theme. "Through BSkyB [in Britain], viewers on average consult Sky's electronic programming guide seven times an hour. The average viewer, meanwhile, watches television five hours a day. Assuming two viewers per television, that's 70 hits on the guide per day." The brokers consider: that is a lot of advertising opportunity. But what does it mean?

"Multiply that by 75 million US pay-TV households," says Murdoch. "Liberally discount the number by 50 per cent, and you still have a site 10 times more popular than the next most popular site on the Web."

They left the Grand Hyatt on Thursday morning with Rupert ringing in their ears.

"I hope I have left you with at least a small sense of why we are so bullish at the dawn of the new millennium," he had told them. ". . . I have long believed that the race will go to the swift, to those with enough vision to invest now in the creation of assets that will be invaluable in the future . . . investment that is scrupulously vetted to be strategically aligned and to always give us a great accretion."

And there is no accretion like a great accretion.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Emporer Has No Clothes

Everyone thinks that they know the fable of the 'Emperor's New Clothes'. But, when you think about it, the point was not that the Emperor had no clothes (because he had been swindled into thinking that he had paid good gold for an outfit of no substance), rather that the people also fell for the swindle despite the horribly obvious evidence before their own eyes.

It was only when the young boy, not yet inculcated into the proper conduct required by the operation of the 'system', made the glaringly obvious observation ["The Emperor has no clothes!"] that the rest of the people felt free to observe and acknowledge the obvious ie: "Yeah, the Emperor has no clothes! Ewww, ugly! What a fool, what an idiot!"

Leaving aside arguments about the applicability of that fable to the evils of the Murdoch empire, the point is that it is often up to one individual to speak the obvious before the crowd can accept it as "OK" to say what they think.

So what? Well, a while ago we gathered up a big pile of the more hopeless Murdoch 'free' press ['Mx' in Brisbane] and very obviously defaced them with felt pens. We then put them back into the public space (where they had, after all, been in the first place) and we were pleasantly surprised to see that they were nearly all picked up by commuters within an hour. All they need to know is that it is OK to acknowledge that this particular Emperor (Murdoch's rags) is laughable and should rightly be the subject of ridicule and derision.


Grab about 10 or 15 copies of your local 'free' Murdoch rubbish (such as 'Mx' or 'Quest') and deface them. We had a lot of fun doing word bubbles on the photos, changing captions and generally scrawling things like "this will make you stupid" on them. Then immediately fold them up again and put them at the local train station etc.. You will be surprised at how swiftly people collect them to admire your unique contribution to our 'free' speech.

Let us know how you go!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Enough Is Enough!

Welcome! This blog has been created to cater to the need for action against all that is bad about Murdoch's empire.

The straw that broke the camel's back was the guff run in Murdoch's Sunday rags with those alleged photos of Pauline Hanson. Shameless gutter journalism. Murdoch is well aware, perhaps even proud, of his reputation as the 'Dirty Digger' and has toiled hard for many years to drag journalism down to his preferred level.

That would be harmless enough if it wasn't for the fact that his empire is all pervasive and often, as in Queensland, is a virtual monopoly.

As a result democracy suffers, governance suffers, proper accountability and journalism go out the window.

It is beyond a joke. It has become very dangerous and they must be stopped (or at least curtailed).

It might even be too late but it is worth making the effort.

First Action: Stop giving them money! Don't buy it! Tell anyone who will listen to stop buying it!
Next Action: ???