Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A New Media Landscape ?

So, 'democracy' has had its pound of flesh in the UK. NewsCorp has dropped its bid for BSkyB - for now (just remember that Dow Jones was stalked for decades by News International and this is far from the end of the story, in my view). In reality, the political class has closed ranks and taken revenge for decades of kowtowing to a press they hate but had to court - this fear was the very reason that dodgy people like Alistair Campbell and Andy Coullson were employed at the heart of Government.

NewsCorp will wait and try again, probably under a new CEO.

But, the fallout from this affair is going to be considerable.

First of all, US politicians, well, US Democrats, will see what has happened and may use this to try and remove the biggest thorn in their side, Fox News.

Secondly, the relationship with the fourth estate in the UK has been re-calibrated, and newspapers as an industry, as a medium, are over. NewsCorp may well now sell News International since it has very little real capital now that its political capital has gone.

Thirdly, the Conservative Party in the UK and David Cameron will take a long time to recover from this and must now question their support for companies like Google, who pay practically no corporate tax in the UK, totally stifle the development of UK innovation and still get sycophantic support form Cameron.

And what about the gloating BBC, who look forward to becoming ever more monopolistic - how do they meet the 'plurality' test whilst we pay for them to compete unfairly with any potential media startup ? They make NewsCorp look positively benevolent.

Perhaps some good may come from all this and we can have a new media landscape in the UK, but it is totally unfair to single out NewsCorp when there are other companies who are far more insidious.

More than dropping this bid needs to happen if the media landscape in this country is to truly change.