If you live in the UK you must know the score, but for the benefit of those who don’t, here’s the situation.
News of the World (a tabloid, part of News International, owned by Rupert Murdoch along with The Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times) are currently facing investigation over allegations that they have been hacking phones to obtain information for stories. The catalyst has been the recent discovery that the mobile of a young missing girl, Milly Dowler, was hacked, and when the voicemail inbox was full, messages were deleted to free up space, potentially destroying evidence and giving the family false hope that she was alive, when she had been murdered. Since then, it’s come to light that as well as politicians, celebrities and the royal family, the families of high profile murder cases, victims of the 7/7 attacks and deceased soldiers may have also potentially have had their phones hacked. On top of this, Rebekah Brookes has stated that NotW have paid police officers for information.
It’s like it’s 1984, and Rupert Murdoch is Big Brother.
Fortunately, there’s something we can do. If we can keep applying pressure in the right places, we can stop Murdoch gaining more control of the media in this country, and put a dent in his pocket. In the last 2 days, News Corp shares have dropped by 5%… we need to make sure that we don’t let up and let them rise again.
So what can we do?
- Email Jeremy Hunt, secretary of state for media and/or your MP, concerning Murdoch buying the remaining shares of BSkyB. There are also petitions on 38degrees.org and avaaz.org
- This one may be obvious, but boycott News of the World, and anything else owned by Murdoch (The Sun, The Times, the Sunday Times, Harper Collins book publishing, Sky, Fox News, 20th Century Fox films…)
- Petition advertisers with the above newspapers to withdraw advertising with News International, and boycott those who refuse.
Some companies have already withdrawn their advertising, while some of the big players are refusing to budge on their advertising policy. Political Scrapbook has been keeping an eye on who has withdrawn, reviewed and continued to advertise with n (and is frequently updated). We need to petition and boycott those who won’t or haven’t yet, and convince these companies who have to take it a step further: congratulate them for making a bold decision, but convince them to stop stocking NotW, and withdraw all advertising with other News International publications.
I feel Mitsibushi deserve a specific mention as they have pledge to donate the money saved from withdrawing advertising to ChildLine, based on a suggestion via facebook.
“Mitsubishi Motors in the U.K. considers this type of activity – especially in such a distressing case – to be unbelievable, unspeakable and despicable. This is where we draw the line.”
Also, shame on Tesco, one of the few companies that have refused to reconsider their advertising position.
This is the one chance we have to even out the media playing field that Murdoch has had control of for too long, and we need to take it.