Murdoch's misery, China's delight

Updated: 2011-07-27 14:02


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As China has endured lectures from the West about its press freedom and human rights for decades, the no-holds-barred, profit-driven media of the West has set a daily example of irresponsibility and excess, according to an article on the website of the Asia Times Online on July 26, 2011.

According to the article, the tables are turned, as Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, the world's second-largest media conglomerate, totters under the weight of a phone-hacking and bribery scandal. "Is this where the Western media model leads - to criminal acts by reporters and parliamentary grillings of media executives interrupted by angry pie tossers?"

While Chinese official publications have covered the News of the World scandal in depth and detail, criticizing the "hypocrisy and empty sloganeering of the Western media and political elite", noted the article, the criticisms do have the sting of truth. "The profit motive often does poison the well of the Western media, and the prediction that a new and tougher regulatory regime is in the offing will likely prove true."

And it would not necessarily turn out to be a bad thing if that new regime sets out to break up media behemoths like News Corp, said the article. News Corp has become "far too powerful a political player on the world stage", deviating the media's traditional role "as watchdog in a system of checks and balances in Western democracies". So "in a fair system of checks and balances, Murdoch and News Corp are due for a huge, ego-shattering check."