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Posts Tagged ‘Rupert Murdoch’

Rally to stop Murdoch’s BSkyB Powergrab. 12:30 today

June 30th, 2011 by

Rupert Murdoch - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2009

Photograph by World Economic Forum

Grim reading this morning:
Guardian: “News Corp’s BSkyB bid: Jeremy Hunt gives green light for takeover”
BBC: News Corp moves closer to a takeover of BSkyB

In July last year 38 Degrees members came together to launch our campaign to halt Rupert Murdoch’s powergrab. Our campaign to stop him is making a difference– we’ve already delayed Jeremy Hunt’s announcement by several weeks and forced News Corporation to make small concessions.

Jeremey Hunt’s decision could mean he’s about to hand Rupert Murdoch another huge slice of our country’s media. But Hunt’s decision isn’t final and our pressure could change the game — if we all join a rally in London at lunchtime today we can stop Murdoch’s power grab.

Let’s ramp the pressure up with a people powered rally. We’ve teamed up with our friends at Avaaz to hold a spectacular stunt at 12:30 outside the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. We’ll have a stiltwalker, huge puppets, and more for the media to film. And, the bigger our crowd, the more pressure we’ll put on the government.

Where: Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2-4 Cockspur Street, SW1Y 5DH (just off Trafalgar Square)
When: 12.30 today, June 30th
Nearest tube: Picadilly Circus and Charing Cross.
Map: here

Mass Demonstration

Photograph by 38 Degrees

Update – despite little notice lots of the media and members of 38 Degrees and Avaaz came to the stunt. Here are some pictures:

Mass Demonstration

Photograph by 38 Degrees

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Emergency petition to stop Murdoch’s power grab

April 12th, 2011 by

Just when we thought that Murdoch had the deal in the bag, his media empire has confessed to hacking the phones of various celebrities and politicians.  [1]

The media outcry around the phone hacking scandal has given us the chance to step up our campaign to try and limit Murdoch’s empire by putting together an emergency petition with Avaaz. We demand that the government calls a full inquiry into the phone hacking, and halts the BSkyB takeover process until all the facts have been established.

If you don’t want Murdoch to get away with it, sign the petition now:


38 Degrees have already handed in 60,000 messages to Ofcom asking them to put the BskyB bid in front of the Competition Commission, back in November.  Last Christmas we put together an Emergency Petition to let the government know that Jeremy Hunt is not the right person to judge the BskyB deal.

Right now, we have a chance to make our voices heard and demand that the government make a full inquiry into the phone hacking scandal and put on hold the BskyB takeover that Murdoch is chasing.

Please add your name and build the pressure for Murdoch to be reined in:

The petition will be handed in this Friday, in full view of the media to the High Court in London.

Don't let Murdoch get away with it

Photograph by World Economic Forum

[1] News Of The World statement: http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/notw/public/nol_public_news/1266448/News-International-statement-News-of-the-World-says-sorry.html

For more information on the phone hacking scandal:

[1] http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/apr/11/rebekah-brooks-phone-hacking

[2] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-13034848

[3] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/press/rebekah-brooks-backtracks-on-admission-about-police-payments-2266448.html

[4] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/8444890/I-know-nothing-about-payments-to-police-says-News-International-chief-executive-Rebekah-Brooks.html


Posted in 38 Degrees Blog Posts


38 Degrees members deliver petition to Jeremy Hunt

February 7th, 2011 by

38 Degrees members from Jeremy Hunt’s constituency in Surrey got together to talk about Murdoch’s proposals to buy out 100% of BSkyB.

38 Degrees members at the meet-up in Haslemere

Photograph by 38 Degrees

One member, David Morgan, had arranged a meeting with his MP, Jeremy Hunt. He wanted to ask why other local members were concerned about Murdoch’s plans and to show Jeremy Hunt that other constituents shared his concerns. David also gave Jeremy Hunt our petition which has now been signed by nearly 40,000 of us.

David said “it was important to me to make sure that Mr Hunt understood my concerns about the importance of plurality of quality media in this country. I took the opportunity to let him know about the general perception that many people have that the current government somehow ‘owes’ Mr Murdoch a favour.”

In the meeting with Jeremy Hunt, David explained that he and many others had concerns about the Murdoch takeover proposals. David and Finn, another local member who joined the meeting, said that Jeremy Hunt “bristled” at the suggestion he may not be completely impartial and assured them that he would be entirely unbiased.

38 Degrees members at the petition delivery in Haslemere

Photograph by 38 Degrees

We got together in a cafe opposite Tesco in Haslemere where Jeremy Hunt was holding his surgery. Over a cup of tea, we chatted about why we were concerned about Murdoch’s powergrab. People’s main worries included Jeremy Hunt’s lack of impartiality, the process itself (especially Jeremy Hunt letting Murdoch have extra time to make changes to his bid) and threats to a free and democratic media in the UK (especially if he starts ‘bundling up’ Sky TV with subscriptions to his newspapers, for example).

Other members also shared their reasons for getting together. Celia said it had been a “very valuable experience to meet with other 38 Degrees members to discuss issues and confirmation of direct and personal strength of feeling”. Ian said, “pleased to meet up with other members and to help get the message across – emphasising concerns regarding future of journalistic freedom and access to information by public and how this might be reduced if Murdoch is allowed to take control of BSkyB.”

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Don’t let Hunt get away with Murdoch

January 20th, 2011 by

Last week we discovered that Jeremy Hunt had entered into confidential meetings with Rupert Murdoch over the future of Murdoch’s BSkyB bid.

In November 38 Degrees handed in 60,000 messages to Ofcom asking them to get the bid in front of the Competition Commission. At Christmas an Emergency Petition was put forward pointing out that Jeremy Hunt would not make an impartial judge. On New Year’s Eve Hunt got Ofcom’s report and has been sitting on it ever since.

Murdoch in meetings with Hunt

It has now emerged that Hunt has been having meetings with Murdoch’s people. He could be trying to find ways to make a deal with Murdoch’s advisers.

Now it’s our turn to get involved. Together we can get in touch with our MPs and ask them to put pressure on Hunt to ensure the report goes public and into the hands of the Competition Commission. But we don’t have long.

This is a fast moving campaign that needs quick responses. We’ve already had success in standing up to Rupert Murdoch’s BSkyB power grab and now we need to do it again. To take action click here:

Here’s Robert Peston’s blog outlining more of the details: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/robertpeston/2011/01/ofcom_says_news_corps_sky_bid.html

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Stop Murdoch’s power grab – the delivery

November 19th, 2010 by

This morning was one which Ofcom won’t forget in a hurry. Their usually quiet office was transformed! Journalists and photographers, box loads of letters, and one powerful message from all of us: Stop the Murdoch Power Grab.

Together with our friends at Avaaz, we handed in over 60,000 personal messages to Ofcom. You could see how big an effect we were having from the faces of the Ofcom staff – they’d never seen anything like it! As they arrived to work, everybody had to walk past our massive stack of messages, each one telling them to stop Murdoch.

As we struggled to carry the heavy boxes of submissions into the building, we saw that rest of the Ofcom office had come to a standstill as people crowded round to watch. Everyone knew why we were there.

Ofcom usually hear from media insiders, including Murdoch’s own henchmen. This time we’ve made sure the public is impossible to ignore. As they sit down to discuss their next move, our huge response will be weighing on their minds.

60,000 messages to Ofcom saying "Stop Murdoch's BSkyB power grab"

Photograph by 38 Degrees

60,000 messages to Ofcom saying "Stop Murdoch's BSkyB power grab"

Photograph by 38 Degrees

60,000 messages to Ofcom saying "Stop Murdoch's BSkyB power grab"

Photograph by 38 Degrees

60,000 messages to Ofcom saying "Stop Murdoch's BSkyB power grab"

Photograph by 38 Degrees

60,000 messages to Ofcom saying "Stop Murdoch's BSkyB power grab"

Photograph by 38 Degrees

Update: Here’s a (slightly noisy) video of David at the Ofcom office

Stop Murdoch’s Power Grab – petition hand-in from 38 Degrees on Vimeo.

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Murdoch & BSkyB – What should we do next?

November 17th, 2010 by

Earlier this week we had a massive campaign breakthrough. Vince Cable ordered a review of Rupert Murdoch’s big to take total control of BSkyB. Over the last few months thousands of us have been campaigning hard urging Vince to order this review – so it was fantastic news to hear that he’d ordered the review just hours after Murdoch submitted.

But we can also be sure that Murdoch will have had his lawyers, strategists and spin-doctors working flat out over the last few months to come up with a plan to allow him to take total control of BSkyB.

Now we need to redouble out efforts to stop Murdoch’s takeover plan. If you’ve got ideas of what we should do next I’d love to hear them. Please share your ideas, and comment on other people’s ideas in the comments below:

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Campaign win! Rupert Murdoch will be furious

November 4th, 2010 by

We’ve just sent out this email – more to follow soon!

Amazing news! We’ve had a huge breakthrough in our campaign to stop Rupert Murdoch grabbing full control of BSkyB. Just hours after Murdoch put in the paperwork, Vince Cable accepted our demand and called an inquiry. [1]

Thousands of us have worked together to take on one of the most powerful men in the world.When we started, political insiders said we didn’t have a hope of winning. But we knew that Murdoch grabbing even more power would be bad for our democracy. So we had to try to stop this deal going through on the nod. Today, we did it!

Rupert Murdoch will be furious. But he won’t have given up just yet. His lobbyists will be all over Westminster today. His newspaper editors will be getting ready to attack. They’ll do everything they can to make sure the inquiry is soft on Murdoch.

Today we need to make sure MPs are hearing from us more than Murdoch’s lobbyists. If MPs are lining up to tell Vince they’re on his side, we can make sure he knows he’s got public support for a proper investigation with teeth.

Click here to send your MP an email asking them to back Vince’s stand against Murdoch:

We know that Vince Cable has stuck his neck out on this. There are reports of splits in the government. Murdoch has powerful allies and they’ll be pushing hard to restrict what the investigation can look at. If thousands of us email our MPs today, we can make sure hundreds of them get behind Vince’s decision quickly. [2]

An inquiry with teeth would investigate what the Murdoch BSkyB power grab means for all UK media, now and in the future. It would look at everything under Murdoch’s control, not just BSkyB. That’s the last thing Murdoch wants. But if enough of us contact our MPs today, we can make sure his lobbyists don’t get their way.

It’s not often MPs hear from lots of us to say we are pleased with a government decision.But today Vince Cable needs public support for taking the right decision:

Getting Vince Cable to call an investigation really is a massive victory for people-power. Together, over 30,000 of us signed the petition, another 20,000 of us signed our open letter to Vince, and thousands of us have already emailed our MPs. But while we’re celebrating this huge achievement, let’s also keep the pressure up by emailing our MPs again today and telling them to support Vince in holding an inquiry with real teeth. [3]

Write to your MP by clicking here:

Thanks for being involved,

Hannah, Johnny, David, and the 38 Degrees team

P.S. When you hear back from your MP, please share what they say so we can keep track of which MPs back an enquiry with teeth and which ones are in Murdoch’s pocket. You can share your MP’s reply, and see what other MPs are saying, here:http://www.38degrees.org.uk/murdoch-mp-replies. Today though, let’s make sure MPs are hearing from thousands of us – click here to send your MP a quick message: http://www.38degrees.org.uk/stop-murdoch.

[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11691728
[2] Financial Times: Tension rises as cabinet split over BSkyB bid: http://bit.ly/cvdOMQ
[3] http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2010/10/11/weve-delivered-our-message-to-vince-cable/

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Murdoch’s powergrab – write to your MP then share their response

November 4th, 2010 by

We’ve just heard some huge news. Our campaign to stop Rupert Murdoch’s powergrab to take control of BSkyB has worked. There’s a risk that the inquiry will be nothing but a rubber-stamp of Murdoch’s plans so over the last few hours thousands of 38 Degrees members have been writing to their MPs urging them to make sure the inquiry has real teeth.

If we all share our replies, we can build up a national picture of which MPs are backing Murdoch and which will stand up to him. Once you hear back from your MP share their reply by adding it to this form.

Update 1-Thanks to Steve for pointing out that there was a problem with the form. That’s now fixed so please enter your MPs responses to the form below and then they’ll display in the clever spreadsheet which you can see and search through below the form.

MP replies we’ve received so far:

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BBC budget slashed

October 21st, 2010 by

Many 38 Degrees members thought the BBC should be defended.

Many 38 Degrees members thought the BBC should be defended.

38 Degrees members have been defending the BBC ever since James Murdoch’s attack on it in August 2009. The reports that the government was pushing the BBC to accept “a license fee raid” triggered a discussion about what we should do on our facebook page, and thousands of 38 Degrees members quickly contacted their MPs speaking out against these deep cuts being forced through behind closed doors.

We were worried about what this would mean for BBC programmes we all enjoy – cuts of over 20% could mean whole channels closing down. Secondly, members were worried about the long term future of the BBC. Many members believed that this decision to raid the BBC was influenced by Rupert Murdoch. Decisions about the licence fee were meant to be taken until next year, and there was a process that was meant to be followed. This deal was forced through behind closed doors and in less than 24 hours.

We’ll have to wait to see what the full effects of these cuts will be, and if they lead to specific issues we will want to campaign about. It it is clear though that the  and this probably isn’t the last time we’ll see politicians attacking. 38 Degrees members don’t think the BBC is perfect, but we do think it’s worth standing up for.

We will also need to keep up the pressure on Vince Cable to call a review of Rupert Murdoch’s plans to seize full control of BSkyB.

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What did your MP say about Murdoch?

October 21st, 2010 by

Thousands of 38 Degrees members emailed their MP’s, asking them to get Vince Cable to block Murdoch’s power grab.

To find out what MP’s have been saying about Murdoch you can look here: http://www.38degrees.org.uk/page/content/stand-up-to-murdoch/

If your MP has replied to you, you can add their response here. There’s also a chance to share ideas about how to respond to MPs’ replies in the comments section below.

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