HELP SHUT DOWN MURDOCH'S BID FOR SKY
The Murdochs already have far too much power and influence. Together we can stop them getting even more, by helping to block their takeover of Sky TV.
And we can hold them to account by making sure that the ground-breaking Leveson Inquiry can resume its work into crime and corruption in the Murdoch press.
Until the public outcry over phone hacking stopped him in his tracks, Rupert Murdoch and his massive family firm very nearly took full control of Sky back in 2011.
The scandal over the News of World hacking the phone of the murdered school student Miller Dowler broke just three days before the final consultation on the deal was to end. The Leveson Inquiry held its first sensational sessions but in late 2012 a second stage was postponed because of criminal trials arising from the scandal. Five years on, it still hasn't been allowed to restart.
Meanwhile, no doubt emboldened by the prospect that this investigation into "unlawful or improper conduct within News International" might never take place, Murdoch's giant US media corporation 21st Century Fox announced a new bid to take over Sky.
Industry experts assumed it would go through smoothly. But the level of protest has been immense: over 327,000 people signed a 38 Degrees petition to refer the bid to media regulator Ofcom; the government had to comply and more than 42,000 people registered objections.
Objectors said the Murdochs already controlled the biggest newspaper/news online group in the UK as well as a big chunk of Sky and other media that buy its news service. The takeover would give them unacceptable media and POLITICAL power.
They condemned the toxic culture of sexual harassment at Fox News in the US, which pumps out non-stop right-wing propaganda and is a major source of “fake news”. The ghastly prospect of the "foxification” of Sky News is alarming for everyone (you can read CPBF's indictment of this here).
The bid is currently bogged down in the takeover regulation process: the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is conducting an inquiry that won’t finish until March.
And when in December it was suddenly announced that the Murdochs were selling up most of their film and TV interests -- including their existing stake in Sky but NOT Fox News -- to the even bigger Disney corporation, it looked as if they knew it couldn't succeed.
All kinds of motives were suggested for this surprise move, but two things are certain:
One is that the current takeover bid is still going ahead; the CMA has confirmed this. But the regulatory process for the Disney takeover in the USA will take even longer, so Fox could be in control of Sky before it's over.
The second is equally sure: that the campaign of resistance to the Murdochs is working. For more than a year we have forced the government to backtrack at every stage -- causing delays that have cost the Murdochs millions.
But we must have support -- and the money -- to make sure it all ends with a firm “No”.
Who are we?
The Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom has been at the centre of radical media politics for more than 30 years. We were founded by activists in the media unions in 1979 to work for more diverse, democratic and accountable media.
We've been fighting the Murdochs for years, supporting all kinds of action, including boycotts and strikes by their workers. We're also part of the coalition of civil society group who've been leading the charge against the Sky bid.
We campaign for media workers to carry out their work according to their professional standards, free from pressure or interference from the owners.
We work alongside trade unions, civil society groups and social movements to create alternative, democratic and independent media as a response to being denied a voice in the mainstream.
We hold meetings, rallies and conferences. We lobby and urge progressive media policies on government and politicians.
Why do we need money?
What we raise will primarily be used to ensure we can continue to employ an organiser to coordinate the campaign until at least the end of June 2018 (when 21st Century Fox are expecting their bid for Sky to complete), plus to continue to produce and distribute campaign materials.
|Fund National Organiser post until end June 2018
(when Fox say they expect the deal to close)
|Printing, production and distribution costs of campaign materials
|Crowdfunder fees (8%)
We've got loads of great rewards for you to choose from including exclusive signed copies of award-winning documentaries & best-selling books, plus a private dinner with investigative journalist Nick Davies.
Watch the Signed DVDs:
- ONE ROGUE REPORTER: Holding Power to Account... One Tabloid Editor At A Time. Satirical documentary starring Hugh Grant, Steve Coogan, Owen Jones & more, signed by director Rich Peppiatt.
- BELONGING: The Truth Behind the Headlines. Morag Livingstone's award-winning documentary, described by Ken Loach as a "terrific film". WINNER: Constuir Cine Special Jury Prize: The London Labour International Film Festival. WINNER: Best Documentary - Cardiff International Film Festival.
- DESPITE THE SUN: an investigation into the year-long Wapping dispute that took place after the ruthless dismissal of over 5000 workers by Rupert Murdoch in 1986. Signed by film maker Mark Saunders.
Read the Signed Books:
- HACK ATTACK: How the truth caught up with Rupert Murdoch, signed by Nick Davies
- MURDOCH'S POLITICS: How One Man's Thirst For Wealth and Power Shapes our World, with a personal note from author David McKnight
- UNTOLD: The Daniel Morgan Murder Exposed. The case that inspired the No 1 podcast, signed by authors Peter Jukes & Alastair Morgan
- TWO BOOKS signed & edited by CPBF stalwart Granville Williams:
1. BIG MEDIA & INTERNET TITANS - Media Ownership: The Democratic Challenge
2. SETTLING SCORES: The Media, the Police and the Miners’ Strike
Enjoy a Private Dinner with Nick Davies
Fifteen lucky people will get to enjoyed this private dinner with the famous Guardian reporter who uncovered the phone-hacking scandal in Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper empire, who launched the alliance of news organisations which published US war logs and cables obtained by Wikileaks; and worked as part of the team which handled the British end of Edward Snowden’s leaks about the US National Security Agency: award-winning investigative journalist and author Nick Davies.
Q: Doesn't the Disney aquisition of Fox make all of this irrelevant?
A: No. Until that deal is actually complete the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) must act as if Murdoch is buying Sky because technically nothing has changed. Even if the Disney/ Fox deal manages to overcome its "obvious and significant" antitrust concerns it's expected to take at least 12 to 18 months to close. Asked about the impact of the Disney deal on their investigation a spokesperson for the CMA said “The investigation process will continue unchanged”.
Q: Isn't the Disney/ Fox aquistion pretty much a done deal?
A: Not really. Although Trump has already congratulated Murdoch on the deal, there will be sticking points under US anti-trust laws in the combination of the two corporations' movie studios and their dominant position in sport. Disney would be acquiring the assets of a competitor, and such “horizontal” deals have faced major opposition in the past.
Q: Have we really got the Murdochs on the run?
A: There has been plausible speculation that at least one of the reasons for the Disney sale is their expectation for the Fox/ Sky bid to fail due to the campaigning against it. But even if the Disney deal goes through, the Murdochs will still own unfairly high share of UK media.
Q: Could the Murdochs still somehow end up owning all of Sky?
A: Yes. If the Fox/ Sky bid goes through but the Disney/ Fox deal doesn't, then a Murdoch-controlled 21CF will own all of Sky.