Print Page
Dear Mr. Murdoch
4/16/2012


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 through journalism 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.

  Print Page