The Rise and Fall of the Murdoch Empire

Chairman of the media empire News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch insists his company has made only minor mistakes in the phone hacking scandal now being investigated by the F.B.I.

What's the Latest Development?


Responding to congressional outcries, the F.B.I. has opened an investigation into the claim that News Corp.'s News of the World, a British tabloid, may have illegally tapped the phones of some 9/11 victims. The allegation was first leveled by the Daily Mirror, another British newspaper, who reported last week that News of the World journalists contacted a New York City police officer in order to retrieve the phone records of the those killed in the 2001 terrorist attacks. Members of Congress with constituents directly affected by 9/11 have been most vocal in calling for an investigation. 

What's the Big Idea?

Rupert Murdoch, the Australian-born media mogul, has set the course in the media world throughout much of his career. His empire owns newspapers across the globe, including the The Wall Street Journal and The Times of London, as well as the Fox Broadcasting Corporation. While News Corp. is based in the U.S., it is the British political class who have been accused of being too close to the company, allegedly needing to maintain their image in Murdoch's media outlets. That relationship will be tested now that Murdoch has agreed to testify before the British Parliament. He will speak to the extent of his company's involvement in the phone hacking scandal. 

Develop mindfulness to boost your creative intelligence

Sharon Salzberg, world-renowned mindfulness leader, teaches meditation at Big Think Edge.

Image: Big Think
Big Think Edge
  • Try meditation for the first time with this guided lesson or, if you already practice, enjoy being guided by a world-renowned meditation expert.
  • Sharon Salzberg teaches mindfulness meditation for Big Think Edge.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

For a long time, the West shaped the world. That time is over.

The 21st century is experiencing an Asianization of politics, business, and culture.

Videos
  • Our theories about the world, even about history or the geopolitics of the present, tend to be shaped by Anglo perspectives of the Western industrial democracies, particularly those in the United States and the United Kingdom.
  • The West, however, is not united. Canada, for instance, acts in many ways that are not in line with American or British policies, particularly in regard to populism. Even if it were united, though, it would not represent most of the world's population.
  • European ideas, such as parliamentary democracy and civil service, spread across the world in the 19th century. In the 20th century, American values such as entrepreneurialism went global. In the 21st century, however, what we're seeing now is an Asianization — an Asian confidence that they can determine their own political systems, their own models, and adapt to their own circumstances.
Keep reading Show less

Vikings unwittingly made their swords stronger by trying to imbue them with spirits

They didn't know it, but the rituals of Iron Age Scandinavians turned their iron into steel.

Shutterstock
Culture & Religion
  • Iron Age Scandinavians only had access to poor quality iron, which put them at a tactical disadvantage against their neighbors.
  • To strengthen their swords, smiths used the bones of their dead ancestors and animals, hoping to transfer the spirit into their blades.
  • They couldn't have known that in so doing, they actually were forging a rudimentary form of steel.
Keep reading Show less

Why the ocean you know and love won’t exist in 50 years

Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?

Videos
  • Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
  • The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
  • If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
Keep reading Show less