Protect the UK from News Corp sign now

Dear Members of Parliament

We feel that large-scale foreign media ownership, in particular Rupert Murdoch's large foreign media conglomerate, News Corp., poses an immediate threat to the British political process and wider British society.

Murdoch's media empire in the UK, which includes 'BSkyB', 'The Sun' and 'The Times', places him in a position of great influence in British society. We feel that the foreign ownership of such media products can (and does) lead to the setting of media agendas which do not coincide with the British national interest.

Rupert Murdoch is widely acknowledged to have exercised editorial influence over News Corp's news products to bring their reporting in line with his own personal agenda. There is evidence of such activities in British General Elections, the recent Iraq war** and the UK's potential membership of the Euro and the European Constitution.

Regardless of any individual's personal feelings on these matters it seems clear to us that using the media as a propaganda tool to force a personal agenda is irresponsible and inhibitive to proper national debate.

Ofcom, the Office of Communications, has officially criticised Fox News for what essentially boils down to blatant lying. Ofcom said Fox had breached the programme code in three areas: failing to honour the "respect for truth" rule; failing to give the BBC an opportunity to respond; and failing to apply the rule that says, in a personal view section, "opinions expressed must not rest upon false evidence". [Guardian Tuesday June 15, 2004]. The Ofcom case can be viewed here:

http://www.ofcom.org.uk/bulletins/prog_cb/pcb_11/upheld_cases?a=87101


We therefore implore you to introduce legislation to further protect British media interests, restrict foreign influences in the British media (particularly in British news media) and to continue to promote more unbiased and impartial news services.


**

Mr. Murdoch is on record supporting the war in IRAQ and "...the editorial policies of almost all his English-language news organizations have hewn very closely to Murdoch's own stridently hawkish political views..."

[http://www.americanprogress.org/site/pp.asp?c=biJRJ8OVF&b=122948].

Mr. Murdoch also told Fortune magazine:

"Who knows what the future holds? I have a pretty optimistic medium and long-term view but things are going to be pretty sticky until we get Iraq behind us. But once it's behind us, the whole world will benefit from cheaper oil which will be a bigger stimulus than anything else,"


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