Murdoch: Would Serve The Powerful If Bloggers, Bloviators Replace Journalists

News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch

News Corp (NSDQ: NWS) Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch gave his first UK speech in decades Thursday, delivering the inaugural Margaret Thatcher Lecture to the Centre for Policy Studies in London. Guardian has the full text (worth a visit just for the fun of seeing a Rupert Murdoch byline at guardian.co.uk), but here are a couple of the choice bits about journalism — and a commercial for BSkyB:

Defining risk: “At Sky we built satellite television service from the ground up after others had abandoned hope and investment. At the time, one of my lordly critics suggested that this new enterprise was worse for Britain than the blitz. Nevertheless, we persevered – and the result is that viewers across the country now enjoy great choice, and we have created tens of thousands of new jobs.” [Not said: And that’s why News Corp. should get to own it all.]

Regrets, I’ve had a few: “Our new world is one of modern mass communication, phone and text, without limit. Democracy will be from the bottom up, not from the top down. Even so, a free society requires an independent press: turbulent …enquiring…bustling…and free. That’s why our journalism is hard-driving and questioning of authority. And so are our journalists. Often, I have cause to celebrate editorial endeavour. Occasionally, I have had cause for regret. Let me be clear: We will vigorously pursue the truth – and we will not tolerate wrongdoing.” [Not said: Isn’t it time to move past this little phone hacking thing?]

Justifying journalism: “Now, it would certainly serve the interests of the powerful if professional journalists were muted – or replaced as navigators in our society by bloggers and bloviators. Bloggers can have a social role – but that role is very different to that of the professional seeking to uncover facts, however uncomfortable” [Not said: Blogger and journalist are not mutually exclusive terms. Unfortunately, neither is bloviator.]

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