Patt Morrison for July 19, 2011

Moguls and the media: do giants of journalism have too much power?

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Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch looks down as he leaves the One Aldwych Hotel to speak with reporters after meeting with the family of murdered school girl Milly Dowler.

Media tycoons, besides covering the news, often make the news through self-made controversy. Rupert Murdoch, owner and CEO of News Corporation, is currently embroiled in a hacking scandal with tentacles reaching into high levels of British government, Scotland Yard and very possibly the U.S. Italian president Silvio Berlusconi is another media oligarch whose empire kept him in public eye and, and in his case, arguably enabled him to win the presidency. The political influence endowed by large media outlets is unavoidable and has left the world to wonder if the concentration of authority should be more diffuse. The words “monopoly” and “trust” are looked upon with a deserved unease, but should possible news-empires be examined with an especially careful eye?


Stephen Walt, professor of international affairs at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government

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