24/12/10

Responsibility for considering the OFCOM report on the Sky takeover has now been handed to Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt - see link below.

The Sky’s limit

NOW WITH added Bishop, the campaign to at least get an investigation of whether it's a good idea for the Murdoch family to own Sky News outright is taking off. The UK Office of Fair Trading declined, but the EU's Competition Directorate took up the baton and annouced a probe three days after its deadline.

And communications regulator OFCOM is also to investigate the effect on UK media pluralism. This followed 60,000 messages to OFCOM through petition tool www.38degrees.org.uk

The Bishop of Manchester, Nigel McCulloch, earlier told OFCOM: "There would always be the potential for the exercise of subtle editorial influence, not least in the process of selecting which news items are to be covered and which left out." This has been highlighted by controversy in the US over the fact that the Murdoch-owned Fox News has contracted five leading far-right-wing prospects for the Republican candidature in the 2012 US Presidential election - and is refusing interviews to other news outlets. New York Times, columnist Paul Krugman warned "Tea Party" activists: "This is not the movie you think it is. You probably imagine that you're starring in The Birth of a Nation, but you're actually just extras in a remake of Citizen Kane."

And Fox News interviewed an opponent of Proposition 24 on the California ballot in November, which if passed would have ended corporate tax breaks, while forgetting to mention that his campaign was funded by - you guessed? - the Murdoch empire.

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