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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

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  • Tuesday, July 26, 2011

    From A Reader: Inside Info on News Corp

    This week marks new lows for Fox News. Even as they are being actively investigated for illegal activities in multiple nations, they pulled a massive, embarrassing, inappropriate lie after the Norwegian right wing terrorist attacks. On Fox News, Laura Ingraham spread the outright lie that the Norwegian attacks were the work of Muslim terrorists. Contrary to this Fox News lie, the arrested suspect is a right wing, Christian terrorist. This lie is one of their worst lies ever. It in essence excuses terrorism by right wing Christians and perpetuates the myth that all terrorism is committed by Muslims.

    The time is LONG overdue to hold News Corp accountable.

    A friend of mine and reader sent this to me based on his own experience with News Corp. Reprinted with permission.

    I am a former News Corp empplyee, working in IT in Australia between 2000 and 2003 in digital and print content management; news print and web publishing, advertising systems, archives, ecommerce, multimedia etc. I worked heavily with the production systems I am referring too below. Especially the global news paper production system, which is used at Wapping (News International) but is also the shared platform for most of the 140+ news papers in News Corp.


    The UK newspapers are one small set of a single, global newspaper production system which has included the New York Post for many years and now the WSJ.
    140 newspapers share a single production system where all news is shared. So a crime in one newspaper is a crime for all.

    The cancer metaphor is important because, like any multinational corporation, it has an integrated production system. In the case of the newspapers at News Corp, roughly 150 newspapers share a single platform. There is very deep intermingling between newspapers brands, within locations such as Wapping, the news factory for News of The World (and The Sun, The Times etc) and between geographic locations.

    Economies of scale in newspaper production drove the consolidation of newspaper production on a single platform, and the need to syndicate finished stories and rapidly share leads and editorial processes within the corporation and against competitors means there is a very big chance that the NoTW toxic tabloid journalism contagion will spread. The criminal content did not remain isolated in Wapping, instead it would of been spread throughout the 150 newspaper network.

    Cross media would also have ensured the textual content would of been spread into other formats like TV. In Australia FoxTel and Sky, in UK BSkyB, the US Fox.

    News International's newspapers are a small set of a single, unified, global, newspaper production system. Its integrated principally by the digital pagination and advertising system, which operates on the same software as airlines or banks. Its a real-time market for matching ads to editorial and selling content. There are 140 newspapers around the world ALL sharing the same production system. The printing presses are also part of the system, and KRM has made massive investments in these news factories over the years.

    ...Staff are moved around the empire all the time. Journalists and editors loyal to Murdoch, and prepared to do the dirty work are rewarded and the industrial fuedalism of personal loyalty is very strong.

    In this global news factory network, the cheapest form of content is sleaze, then sport. Next is gossip. Then opinion. In the UK its ok to do all of this, there is a market. In the US, the Republican moral majority does not allow titties on television, but Fox News is built on gossip. Research is expensive and often reveals unwelcome truths for the proprietor or his advertisers. Sleaze, sport, gossip and opinion are cheap and can be used to attack enemies.

    Fox News is tabloid journalism for the TV age. I hate to think what is being done at MySpace.

    It will be hard to contain the criminal liability just to the UK papers when the business and editorial systems are global. 140 newspapers which now includes the WSJ

    Just like the financial systems spread contagion in realtime, so too the toxic journalism and criminal content is automatically syndicated worldwide


    The 140 newspapers in the News Corp network share a single production platform where leads, new and finished stories are edited and moved around the world in realtime.

    The editorial process is global. For purposes of beating the competition to a scoop, unified messaging "being on message" as New Labor put it, and for commercial synergy.

    The real problem for news is that the benefits of this global production platform for newspapers is now a liability.

    All the newspapers in the 140 paper network have shared in the editorial process and the contagion of criminal content of the toxic tabloids could spread.

    Even though The Times of London and The News of the World dont talk face to face, they share the same building and the same production facility. They also share senior editors and executives, support staff etc. The platform is shared.

    To a very large extent the mastheads are just a branding and the staff, content and so on move between newspapers (globally) all the time.

    Due to cross-media, tabloid print journalism often is re-purposed or expanded for TV i.e. BSkyB (UK), Sky (AUS, UK), Foxtel (AUS) and Fox (US)

    The fact that News International (which is The Times, The Sun, The News of The World) was a major node in establishing this global news production system means that like the financial markets the contagion is automatically spread.

    The benefits from a global, integrated, realtime production system are now its greatest liability.

    Hacking 4000+ victims is not journalism. Its organized crime. Its media as protection racket.

    Fox News and News Corp has been a lying, biased, sleazy piece of crap and a disgrace to true journalism for some time. Now it turns out they have been breaking the law in Britain as well as probably Australia and the US. It should never have taken this long for their crimes to catch up with them.

    For a LOT more on the sleaziness of Fox News (from awhile back but clearly still applicable) here is a documentary called "Outfoxed" from Brave New Films:

    Part I:

    Part II:

    There's a lot more. To find out more about Outfoxed, go here. There is also a followup film called Fox Attacks. And back in 2003 there was a detailed study that documented that people who watch Fox News are far more likely to hold demonstrably false opinions than people who watched other news sources. NPR listeners and PBS viewers were the LEAST likely to hold demonstrably false opinions.

    Fox is by far the worst. But they are not alone. They set the tone for MSNBC, CNN, CBS and ABC, all of whom are better than Fox and more truthful, but that isn't really saying much. The antidotes to the poor quality of corporate American media are Al Gore's CurrentTV (Kieth Olberman's new home and the home of Vanguard Journalism), BBC America, NPR and PBS. These are by far the most accurate news sources you will find.

    Join the families of 9/11 victims and tell Congress you want a full investigation of News Corp.



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