Like Father Like Son: James Murdoch on the Media
Recap: The Internet made previously paid-for content suddenly free and vendors who relied on the profitability of the written, spoken and video recorded word are struggling to stay afloat. Journalism qua journalism is now befalling the tragedy of the commons—everyone wants responsible reporting, but nobody, alas, wants to pay for it.
Enter James Murdoch, son of Rupert, to the Edinburgh International Television Festival. Giving the keynote speech yesterday, which his father gave in 1989, James preached the values of “enterprise, free choice and commercial investment” in the media. In an outright challenge to the British Broadcasting Corporation’s business model, which I’ve explained earlier, he applied social Darwinism to the media saying that the unregulated process of evolution (life devouring other life) is a model to which the media industry should aspire.
Despite the bombast of the speech being more like a Fox News broadcast than a sober evaluation of the media, it did resonate with many in England who recognize a bloated, bureaucratic and poorly defined BBC. Murdoch, speaking more from a traditionally American point of view, said that regulation implies distrust of the public (Rupert’s word was “consumers”)—that a regulated media lacks faith in people’s (consumer’s) ability to discern truth from fiction.
Thankfully, outside of the recognition that the BCC is a bit bureaucratic, nobody is listening too much to Mr. Murdoch and for good reason: regulation is not meant as a restriction on consumers, but as a safeguard against companies whose profit motive trumps the interest of the public. Sex sells. Gossip too.
In response to the declining profits of traditional media, some sources are going non-profit and in doing so being explicit about their commitment to the public good. Here’s a blog that follows journalism’s non-profit experiment.
It’s not that the media has lost faith in its public to discern fact from fiction, but that some have lost faith in a very basic value that the media should represent accuracy and truth first, profit second. Mr. Murdoch said in his speech that every reporter has their bias—fine, then let’s get back to being biased in favor of the public’s interest.
Researchers discover a link between nonverbal synchronization and relationship success.
- Scientists say coordinating movements leads to increased intimacy and sexual desire in a couple.
- The improved rapport and empathy was also observed in people who didn't know each other.
- Non-verbal clues are very important in the development stages of a relationship.
Humans evolved to live in the cold through a number of environmental and genetic factors.
- According to some relatively new research, many of our early human cousins preceded Homo sapien migrations north by hundreds of thousands or even millions of years.
- Cross-breeding with other ancient hominids gave some subsets of human population the genes to contend and thrive in colder and harsher climates.
- Behavioral and dietary changes also helped humans adapt to cold climates.
The comics titan worked for more than half a century to revolutionize and add nuance to the comics industry, and he built a vast community of fans along the way.
- Lee died shortly after being rushed to an L.A. hospital. He had been struggling with multiple illnesses over the past year, reports indicate.
- Since the 1950s, Lee has been one of the most influential figures in comics, helping to popularize heroes that expressed a level of nuance and self-doubt previously unseen in the industry.
- Lee, who's later years were marked by some financial and legal tumult, is survived by his daughter, Joan Celia "J.C." Lee.
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