Note: This blog draws in part on my experiences and observations interviewing political figures, writers, and analysts for "The Campbell Conversations" on WRVO. To hear past interviews I refer to in these posts, please go to the show's website. The views expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent Syracuse University, the Campbell Institute, or the WRVO Stations.

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Friday, July 15, 2011

The Silver Lining in the British Newspaper Hacking Scandal

...That is, beyond the obvious silver lining if you're a supporter of the Labour Party, as the association between David Cameron (and Andy Coulson) and Murdoch can only help Labour (note that Blair and Brown courted him as well, but it's the timing that matters in this case). 

What I have in mind here, however, is something less obvious and admittedly, much smaller beer (to use a British phrase). 

Had the plans for the full acquisition of B-Sky-B gone through, News Corp would have had to shed its Sky News channel, in order not to run afoul of the British rules and expectations about impartiality in broadcast news.  Indeed, this move was part of the plan for the acquisition. 

Sky News provides essentially the only real alternative to the BBC's main streaming news channel (aside from CNN), and is a quality product.  But it doesn't make money--it's run instead as a "loss leader" by Murdoch, and is cross-subsidized by other lucrative satellite channels, in particular sports (and even more specifically football).

Having it taken over by another independent entity would have certainly gutted the operation.  So if Sky News is spared, the Brits get to keep one additional quality news channel.


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