Dear Mr. Murdoch
Deborah McAdams is Executive Editor of TV Technology, who longs for a real copy editor!
My name is Deborah. I
doubt you've heard of
me. I worked my way
school planting trees. I
graduated about the time the Internet started
undermining newspapers, so I moved to the
trades. I was working for one in New York
when your company launched Fox News.
It was possibly the most aggressive cable
channel launch in history. Cable operators
reported getting five times the going rate to
carry it. It soon buried CNN.
A few years later, a handful of lawmakers
raised the media ownership cap after you
were quoted saying you were sure they
would do "the right thing," which turned
out to be capping TV station ownership at
precisely Fox's reach.
Pretty impressive, I thought. All Congress
members ever do for me is ask for money,
then ignore me. I guess the $50 billion media
empire helps. What is that, like, the gross
domestic product of Sri Lanka? That's crazy,
right? What more could someone want?
That's why I'm curious. And sincere,
and sad—about the continuing reports of
privacy violations at News Corp. operations.
We all know News Corp. rolls ruthless in
the business world, but that's no place for
pansies. Neither is journalism, but certain
rules apply. It's actually protected by the U.S.
Constitution as one of the necessary tenets
of democracy. You can laugh at my naiveté. I
don't blame you, but it really is in there, even
with the profession in moderate anarchy,
what with everyone "reporting" and no one
copy editing and fact checking. It's hard
enough to maintain any level of public trust.
Now, we have more hacking allegations, this
time at Sky News.
You say it's a smear campaign by
competitors. If so, you—of all people—can
prove it. And so I wish you would.
Or just come clean and tell us why.