Boston Tells Congress: It’s Time to Investigate News Corp.

Dozens of media reform activists gathered at the Massachusetts state house to take a stand against mega-media companies like News. Corp. and call for an investigation and Congressional hearings into whether News Corp.’s criminal behavior has spread from Britain to the United States. The rally was organized by the new grassroots advocacy organization, the Boston Media Reform Network.

Wielding signs with slogans like “Media for the people, not for profit,” we talked with passersby, held signs up at the busy intersection of Beacon and Park Streets outside the state house, rallied around speeches, and walked the sidewalks outside of the Boston Fox TV station, WFXT-25.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to speak alongside members of the Boston Media Reform Network to discuss the dangers of media consolidation and the importance of citizen action.

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Photo by Jason Pramas for Open Media Boston, Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2011 Jason Pramas.

I told my fellow demonstrators, News Corp-owned companies such as Fox News Channel and the Wall Street Journal are trying to convince us that there’s no need for an investigation. With their massive reach, they are leading a media blitz to cover up allegations that the media company has broken US laws.

This is how Murdoch has worked for years – he uses his media outlets to set the tone of the debate and get what he wants from Washington. Right now, we have an opportunity to speak up and demand an investigation. We need our government to uncover the real story and take the appropriate steps to punish responsible parties for any wrongdoing.

Without an investigation all we’ll know is what Murdoch’s Corporation wants us to hear. That’s the problem with media consolidation and mega-media companies.

For years, Free Press has warned about the dangers of one company amassing too much control over public and political discourse. Currently, only a handful of companies control what we see, hear, and read every day. The owners and people at the top of the media conglomerates decide what’s news and what isn’t. They decide who’s hired and fired. They decide whose voices are heard. They set the agenda.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. is just one example of a mega-media company that wields enormous media power. That media power means that they can get what they want from top officials in Washington. They can even insulate themselves from the official scrutiny of U.S. law enforcement. It’s time to change all that. The scandal that has enveloped News Corp involves illegal spying, bribery, corruption and corporate cover up. We need to know how far this scandal has spread to the United States. 

The good news is that our activism is making a difference. Our voices are being heard. Thus far,

  • More than 100 thousand people have called on Congress to investigate News Corp via
  • Ten senators and representatives from both sides of the political aisle have called for an inquiry
  • The Department of Justice has reportedly sent subpoenas to News Corp employees and others as part of its expanding investigation
  • An FBI investigation is underway following reports that the company may have hacked into the phone messages of victims of the September 11 attacks

With your help we can continue to get results. We need Congressional hearings because that is the only way to get the full picture. Your activism is essential to making sure that News Corp. cannot sweep this scandal under the rug. Your calls, emails and letters to your members of Congress can help encourage our lawmakers to schedule Congressional hearings to investigate News Corp.

Even though you might not have been able to make it to the Boston Media Reform Network’s Rally to Make Fox History last week, you can still tell Congress to investigate News Corp.

We can’t ignore this scandal. News Corp is an American Company. It must be held accountable to U.S. law.

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Photo by Jason Pramas for Open Media Boston, Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2011 Jason Pramas.