Rupert Murdoch is making it a habit to give barnraising speeches about the explosion of media. He gave this now-legendary speech to American newspaper editors and he just gave another to the wonderfully named Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers:
Rupert Murdoch last night sounded the death knell for the era of the media baron, comparing today’s internet pioneers with explorers such as Christopher Columbus and John Cabot and hailing the arrival of a “second great age of discovery”….
“Power is moving away from the old elite in our industry – the editors, the chief executives and, let’s face it, the proprietors,” said Mr Murdoch, having flown into London from New York after celebrating his 75th birthday on Saturday.
Far from mourning its passing, he evangelised about a digital future that would put that power in the hands of those already launching a blog every second, sharing photos and music online and downloading television programmes on demand. “A new generation of media consumers has risen demanding content delivered when they want it, how they want it, and very much as they want it,” he said….
“It is difficult, indeed dangerous, to underestimate the huge changes this revolution will bring or the power of developing technologies to build and destroy – not just companies but whole countries.”
The owner of Fox News added: “Never has the flow of information and ideas, of hard news and reasoned comment, been more important. The force of our democratic beliefs is a key weapon in the war against religious fanaticism and the terrorism it breeds.” ….
“I believe we are at the dawn of a golden age of information – an empire of new knowledge.”
But he combined his new-found enthusiasm for the digital future with a “change or die” message for the monolithic media empires of the 20th century.
“Societies or companies that expect a glorious past to shield them from the forces of change driven by advancing technology will fail and fall,” he warned. “That applies as much to my own, the media industry, as to every other business on the planet.” …
: And here is one of Rupert’s hacks, the political editor if Sky News, extolling the wonders of technology and journalism.