Monday, September 28, 2009

Murdoch's Media Empire

As an undergrad student, I focused heavily on International Relations - therefore I am very familiar with the attempts at Global Governance from the Congress of Vienna to the failure of the League of Nations; resulting to the creation of the United Nations at the end of World War II. I am less familiar with the new role the media plays in global governance, from reporting on the United Nations meeting this past week in New York to a network stretching across the globe under the domination of one corporation and one media tycoon. Thussu’s “Creating a Global Information Infrastructure” supplied me with the background of the media’s role in global governance, as well as a very interesting case study of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.

As an avid watcher of Fox News, I was blissfully unaware of the domination of the media market by the owner of Fox News. As stated in the article, “Fox News has redefined broadcast journalism in the USA, changing the way television news is presented and framed”. Not only has News Corporation changed media in the United States, it has also changed the impact media has across the world. As telecommunications became increasingly privatized, Murdoch was able to increase his share and really develop a global presence. The case study provided by Thussu drastically increased my understanding of the impact of the market on global governance. Murdoch owns now only the Fox Network, but newspapers such as The Times and The Sun in Britain, The New York Post, Twentieth Century Fox, STAR, and HarperCollins. In some way, each of us in not only this class but across the world are informed through one of the various outlets of Murdoch’s empire. Never before has such a corporation had an extreme impact on media, but the development of global media. In a way, News Corporation is a form of global governance. Australian born, Murdoch was one of the first to recognize the growth of media in developing countries, predominately in India, Latin America, and Asia. It has developed and produced country specific channels in regional languages and has also led to regional television shows such as soap operas, and broadcasts of sports such as soccer and rugby. As Thussu states, “with television operations on four continents, News Corporation’s reach into the world’s living rooms is unequalled. Television, delivered by broadcast, cable and satellite, remains the fastest-growing part of the company”.

Fox News always receives a ‘bad rap’ from mainstream media and other critics. I have noticed not only a hostile view of Fox News in class, but from my peers and other professionals. While I am not defending the conservative slant of Fox News, I actually readily acknowledge that it exists; I am defending their impact on journalism not only in the United States but in the realm of global governance. I feel that this week’s readings have allowed me the forum to express these impacts. Recently, many in the international community have noticed a rift in the United States. Through polling, reporting, and the outreach of everyday citizens, I feel Fox News shapes the United States as having problems of our own too. This alone carries a global message as stories transfer from not just the Fox News Channel, but on Murdoch’s other media outlets. I feel that Fox News allows people who may have not been represented by mainstream media before to have an outlet to express their opinions. I feel that the Fox News Channel and Murdoch’s empire of global media allows a perhaps once silent voice to be expressed in ways that were often ignored.

1 comment:

  1. Good post--as you've read by now, I brought up some of the same points in my own. I agree that News Corp can be seen as a form of global governance, in this case headed by one very astute businessman from Australia. I also think Fox gets a bad rap from many in the media and in the public, and agree in acknowledging its conservative bias, but I think other media outlets present a liberal bias at times as well--it works both ways. But Fox does have an undeniable impact on journalism (they broke the Van Jones story a few weeks ago, and even the Washington Post recognized it for that), and so then also does Rupert Murdoch's huge corporation as an example of global governance.