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Francisco Pérez-Latre, Professor of Communication, University of Navarra, Spain School

The fall of King Midas

Tue, 19 Jul 2011 10:28:41 +0000 Published in La Razón (Madrid)

Will the "Murdoch case" make the British press in general gain in quality and be more rigorous, or will it accelerate the decline of newspapers?

-This case will accelerate the decline of the British tabloid press. Newspapers with tabloid content have proven to be more easily replaceable than those that publish quality content because they are more imitable. When a newspaper has its own voice and goes for the best it becomes a valuable paradigm for readers. There will be few such newspapers left. But certainly not the tabloids... This is a paradigmatic case: it proves once again that the biggest "systemic risk" of a business in the media is the lack of credibility.

Could this scandal lead to the exit of Rupert Murdoch from all his print media in the UK, either because he sells them or because he is forced to get rid of them after the outcome?

-It could be, although I don't think so. The pressure against him is strong and he has based the growth of his media empire on aggression, so now his competitors react with virulence and he lacks allies. But it is difficult for him to lose ownership of a newspaper like "The Times", which has also been able to cover the crisis with independence and rigor.

Will Murdoch cease to be the King Midas of communication after what has happened?

-Yes. The case has become a global issue affecting all its properties and there have even been threats to open investigations against it in the United States and Australia. The scandal has also prevented his bid to buy BSkyB, the British pay-TV platform, from being taken to internship . The damage done to the reputation of his business is irreparable and - especially his children - will have to think about the future of News Corporation.