1 year ago
Rupert Murdoch saw the war between media companies and Silicon Valley coming. Murdoch has been called many things, a rogue, a villain, a Luddite, writes BuzzFeed News, but a new term has recently been thrown around: hero.
Murdoch and News Corp CEO Robert Thomson have taken a central role in the fight against Facebook and Google. The two Silicon Valley monsters took “journalism’s business model and forever changed how readers consume information,” BuzzFeed writes.
The war between journalism and Silicon Valley did not seem important to consumers until recently, during the 2016 presidential election. Then, Facebook and Google had to face headlines about their spread of “fake news” or how 10 million people viewed Russian-bought ads, Buzzfeed writes. Now, journalism organizations have some leverage. But Murdoch has the most leverage of all, being one of the most well-connected media moguls in Washington, and who has been known to talk to President Donald Trump on a regular basis, according to BuzzFeed.
BuzzFeed writes that Murdoch is known for his “bare-knuckle tactics.” He owns The Times of London, which has engaged in a month-long campaign exposing tech platform’s issues. It has run headlines like “Big Brands Fun Terror” and “Google: We Won’t Remove Video That Attacks Jews” according to BuzzFeed. It has published a total of 18 front pages taking on Facebook and Google.
Murdoch isn’t the only one taking on tech giants. Lawmakers and regulators in Washington, London, and Brussels have been looking into Facebook, Google and Twitter. The tech companies are being asked about Russian attempts to use social media to influence the 2016 presidential election, BuzzFeed reports. This year, Google received an antitrust fine after a seven-year investigation.
Media companies are excited about these regulations because Facebook and Google, by some estimates, accounted for almost 100 percent of the growth in U.S. digital ad revenue last year. Media companies rely on social media for readers, but social media companies are slowly destroying media companies.
But Murdoch isn’t backing down. After buying The Wall Street Journal, the company decided to focus on paying subscribers instead of chasing a big audience on social, BuzzFeed reports. Murdoch has also singled out former Google CEO Eric Schmidt personally in public statements.
So while people may say what they want about the media giant, Murdoch is striving to keep the news business alive and well.