Twenty years on, Murdoch Jr echoes father’s attack on BBC – TV & Radio – Media – The Independent
Delivering the prestigious James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival, he railed against the “authoritarianism” of the Government and its watchdog Ofcom. He criticised rules designed to uphold impartiality in broadcast news and advocated the system of self-regulation which applied to the press.
The speech, which shocked the television executives, echoed the sentiments of his father, who delivered an outspoken attack on broadcasting establishment in the same venue two decades earlier.
Whereas Murdoch Snr’s MacTaggart Lecture of 1989 had predicted the digital future, James Murdoch talked of the “digital present” and compared the media industry’s conservatives to the creationists who rejected Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.
In powerful language, he remonstrated against the growth of the BBC’s news provision on the internet. “Dumping free, state-sponsored news on the market makes it incredibly difficult for journalism to flourish on the internet,” he said. “We seem to have decided as a society to let independence and plurality wither. To let the BBC throttle the news market and then get bigger to compensate.”