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Who is Rupert Murdoch?

Rupert Murdoch studied politics and economics at Oxford University.
Rupert Murdoch is known for building a newspaper empire.
Rupert Murdoch launched The Fox News Channel in 1996.
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  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 25 September 2014
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Rupert Murdoch (born 11 March 1931) is a controversial multinational media mogul. The Australian-born Murdoch built an empire of newspapers and tabloids that spilled from Australia to England, on to the United States and beyond; expanding into television, films, the Internet, and most recently into the financial news market. News Corp., Murdoch’s holding company, has become synonymous with his name.

Young Rupert Murdoch attended Oxford University where he studied politics and economics while writing articles for student newspapers. With the death of his father he inherited a controlling share in News Limited of Adelaide, Australia, which published The News, a local newspaper.

In 1953 Rupert Murdoch left Oxford to become managing director of News Limited only to find his father had left many debts. After selling off several shares of various newspapers, Rupert Murdoch was back on his feet just three years later with successful ventures that included a weekly television magazine, called TV Week. The extra cash flow allowed Murdoch to borrow money to finance further ventures.

Acquiring more newspapers with circulations in greater parts of Australia, Murdoch also purchased The Daily Mirror, a Sydney-based tabloid. In 1964 Murdoch established Australia’s first national newspaper, The Australian, which he purportedly intended to use to gain political respect.

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In 1968 Rupert Murdoch expanded into Britain, acquiring control of The News of the World, the most popular English-language newspaper of its time with an international circulation of over 6-million. Murdoch also bought The Sun, an upstart British magazine that he converted into a successful tabloid.

By 1973 Rupert Murdoch had his eye on the United States. Buying various newspapers and magazines, he founded the tabloid Star and in 1976 purchased The New York Post. Murdoch went so far as to became a citizen of the U.S. in 1985 in order to purchase the American television station FOX Network, a highly popular network among young viewers.

Following this success Murdoch launched The Fox News Channel in 1996, a 24-hour cable station designed to compete with CNN. In 2003 News Corp. bought a 34% share in Hughes Electronics, which owns DirecTV™, a leading satellite company. But Murdoch’s interest in television and satellite are not specific to the United States.

BskyB, the leading British satellite company, The National Geographic Channel, The History Channel, and Nickelodeon are all partially owned by Rupert Murdoch. Other television stations under News Corp.’s flag extend into Italy, New Zealand, Asia and other countries.

In 2005 Murdoch’s News Corp. purchased Intermix Media Incorporated, owner of the wildly popular online socializing hub, MySpace. Murdoch also acquired controlling interest of IGN Entertainment, a multimedia video-based company that owns websites like AskMen, GameSpy, and RottenTomatoes.

While no one argues the success of Rupert Murdoch, News Corp.-owned entities have come under scrutiny for espousing political views that appear overwhelmingly reflective of Murdoch’s own biases. In the United States, Murdoch’s adopted country, the mogul is an outspoken proponent of the Christian conservative viewpoint and the right-wing Republican Party. He publicly supported Ronald Reagan, Pat Robertson and most recently George W. Bush in both the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. Some believe news media outlets under Murdoch’s ownership are directed to promote a conservative agenda.

In a notable example during the Iraq war build-up in 2003, Australian magazine The Bulletin interviewed Murdoch. The interview revealed Murdoch to be strongly in support of the war, citing decreased oil prices as a primary reason; a position he also made public the previous week in an interview with America’s Fortune Magazine. In a striking coincidence, according to an article in Britain’s The Guardian published 17 February 2003, each one of News Corp.’s 175 newspapers worldwide also editorialized in favor of the Iraq war.

FOX News Network (FNN), the “fair and balanced” news station with the slogan, “we report, you decide” has also come under fire from critics who believe it has a neo-conservative, anti-liberal bent. Leaked memos of talking points that wrap bias with spin to tow a conservative party line have caused some critics to reclassify the station as opinion, while others view it as theater. Backlash extended to inspiring documentary filmmaker Robert Greenwald to make, Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism, which includes interviews of past FOX employees and lays out what Greenwald and others believe to be proof of purposefully constructed bias in the network.

Amid journalistic concerns, Rupert Murdoch’s 2007 $5.6-billion US Dollar (USD) bid to acquire Dow Jones and one of the most well-respected newspaper in the country, The Wall Street Journal was met with much concern. But Murdoch appears unstoppable. According to FOX reports in early August 2007 the deal had been accepted and the News Corp. buyout will go forward. Dow Jones also owns many influential financial websites, including MarketWatch.

Rupert Murdoch has positioned himself to exercise astounding influence worldwide as his newspapers, magazines, television networks and websites reach into billions of households daily. With each additional acquisition questions arise as to the potential implications of this growing monopoly, and its impact on business, economics, politics, market competition and society.

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Discuss this Article

anon277704
Post 9

It would be more ethical if news reporters would report all of the facts about each candidate without showing favoritism toward any candidate. I do not view the news to see the reporter's opinion. NBC, ABC and CBS are all guilty of this. I don't watch FOX that much. If I owned a station, I would be firing some news reporters, even if it was in the middle of a broadcast.

anon277702
Post 8

Old "rupe" is a sick old man who doesn't know what he is talking about. Mitt will win and win big in November against Obama, because the average American is sick and tired of the "dog and pony" show of Obama and his gang of thieves. America will never be a "socialist" country. We will have a revolution before that happens! Obamacare will do this president in for good along with Pelosi and Reid. The Senate and House will be won by a majority of Republicans!

anon269999
Post 6

Is Rupert Murdoch unprofessional?

anon164645
Post 5

Anyone who believes Rupert Murdoch's media outlets are fair and balanced must be not very well educated or have had a head injury. he is against the man in the street and all for improving his wealth and for people like him.

BrickBack
Post 4

GreenWeaver- Recently a liberal group funded by George Soros, Media Matters for America was given $86,000 to sit with Rupert Murdoch to “Correct the conservative information that has been given out.” George Soros back many liberal media groups supports many liberal groups including the Huffington Post, MSNBC, and CNN.

There are many other political groups that are in reality they are there to promote the George Soros liberal agenda. I think that George Soros met his political match in that Rupert Murdoch.

GreenWeaver
Post 3

Oasis11-That seems pretty balanced to me. I think that critics of Keith Rupert Murdoch often like to portray Rupert Murdoch as well as the channel as biased, but in reality they are not.

There are shows like the Glenn Beck show that offers a strong conservative message throughout the program though, but he is not a newscaster or reporter.

Glenn Beck informs the public of his findings by using the actual spoken words of the people he is discussing. He does this so people understand what is said and they can make their judgments from there.

He often will give the sources to his audience and tell them to confirm the facts for themselves so that they could feel comfortable with their answers.

Rupert Murdoch said recently that he would charge for online coverage of his British papers.

oasis11
Post 2

Bhutan- With Rupert Murdoch and the Fox News channel you do get a balanced view because there are many liberal commentators who share their views. There is Juan Williams formerly of NPR and Mara Liaison from NPR who do a daily show with Brett Bair and Charles Krauthammer and another conservative commentator.

Juan Williams and Mara Liaison clearly project the liberal point of view and Charles Krauthammer and the other conservative commentator serve the conservative point of view.

Bhutan
Post 1

While Rupert Murdoch’s accomplishment of developing Fox News has been criticized, I disagree that it is a neoconservative news channel.

Many of the panelist and commentators are a combination of liberal and conservative. The difference with Fox News is that you actually hear someone articulating the conservative point of view, which you do not hear on the other channels.

Most of the other channels like MSNBC and CNN have a complete panel of liberals to discuss a liberal point of view.

This does not appeal to a center right country like ours which is why their ratings have plummeted.

There are some programs on these other channels that actually have ratings in the range of fifty to one hundred thousand viewers.

As a matter of fact, Fox beat the free network channels to have the number one position with respect to ratings for election coverage.

For a cable channel to beat all three network channels says something about K Rupert Murdoch. With Rupert Murdoch, Americans now have options with respect to the news coverage that they choose to watch.

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