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Thursday 25 August 2016

Murdoch Muscle In Decline

Why do politicians and others in the public eye fear Rupert Murdoch? For many media commentators, that might sound like a pointless question: the reach of the Murdoch mafiosi, through Don Rupioni’s ownership of the Times - which once upon a time really was a paper of record - and especially Britain’s best-selling daily, the Sun, gives him the means to bend those people to his will, and whenever he wants.
That's what I bladdy think of youse bladdy readership bladdy survey, ya bastard Pommie drongoes!

The fear is backed up, not by what we do know, but what we do not: the long-standing rumour that the Sun has in its offices a tall safe full of incriminating stories about the good and the great, and the knowledge that the paper also has the power to protect those in public life, not by putting them on the front page, but by keeping them off it, as was shown recently with former Culture Secretary John Whittingdale.

So MPs, peers, hangers-on, fellow media bosses, and a panoply of Slebs are prepared to doff their proverbial caps to Creepy Uncle Rupe. The media bosses back him up when he wants to bully the Government, the MPs and peers have showed they are prepared to let him into our newspaper market and support his bid for Sky - well, up to a point - and the Slebs mainly go along with the Sun’s promotional efforts.
And, as has been brought into sharp focus by a new survey on audience size and reach, there is now rather more of the myth, and less of the reality, in Murdoch’s media reach. True, the Sun is there at the top of the print pile, but when PC and mobile audiences are weighed too, the Currant Bun has fallen behind the Mail, Guardian, Telegraph, Mirror, and Metro. Even behind the Express. And behind the online-only Independent.

Think about that. The mighty Murdoch Sun back in 8th place in its overall reach. And it gets worse: all the titles doing better than the Sun are putting on readers, with the Guardian, Telegraph, Independent and Express doing best there. But the Sun is merely treading water. And what of the Times? The paywall may be bringing in the money, but its presence puts the title at the back of the field - behind even the Daily Star.
True, the Sun is still bringing in the money, but advertising revenue is in free fall across the board. And the only response so far is to launch add-ons like SunBet - targeting readers for a little marginal income from betting commissions. But the marketplace for online betting is already well-filled with other players. So far, the political and Sleb class has managed not to cotton on to these particular shifting sands. But they will.

The crude desperation of Sun front page splashes - exemplified by this morning’s attempt to frighten readers into believing that the tragic drowning of five young Londoners yesterday at Camber Sands in East Sussex was actually illegal migrants - shows that the Murdoch mafiosi are flailing around for new ideas, and finding none.

So, having taken that reality check, the question has to be asked once more: why do politicians and others in the public eye fear Rupert Murdoch?


Ceebs said...

It's the last column on that chart is the most interesting, sun doing spectacularly poorly in mobile views,(11th on chart behind daily record) and that can be taken as a proxy for young readers, so the spiral only heading downwards

Anonymous said...

And there's your answer IMO. Older people vote which means that readers of trad media are more influential. For all the internet's supposed influence, old media (Papers, TV, Radio) still reaches that demographic and for many seems more *real*. Putting a story into millions of papers rather than on a screen seems more official. The papers run it, TV and Radio picks it up - how many stories run on the webs for weeks or even years but only when they cross over into a single paper or on-air report do the others go with it?

The Mail is interesting there - if you go into an office you will see so many reading it, people of all backgrounds, many you would not expect but they read it. I can't help thinking that it's judgmental tone and tut tutting attitude allows us to look at the same juicy scandals and T&A but with a sneer and feel better for having still looked at the same stories as the great unwashed but feel superior about it.

Bob said...

To underline the point made by anonymous. On one of the Today paper reviews this morning John Humphries highlighted the Mail's headline 'Ban these toxic beads' - a campaign that thas been on the internet for quite some time. Humphries commented that the Mail had done so well with their campaign to reduce plastic bag usage. Someone else's cause hijacked by the Mail and credit appropriated to them by a flagship radio programme. So it must be true.

Brian Higgy said...

One of the problems is the broadcast media's (BBC, ITV, ch4) insistence on "reviewing" the tabloid press. It's free publicity for the likes of The Mail and The S*n when in reality all they are is comment (slanted at that). If TV want to be really unbiased they should also "review" Hello and the Beano.

Rupert Murdoch. said...

I'm not scared of Rupert Murdoch.