Friday, October 9, 2009

Opening Up the Digital Great Wall

Rupert Murdoch spoke in China today.

From The Wall St. Journal:

BEIJING—News Corp. Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch urged China's government to allow its media companies to take advantage of the opportunities in new media by addressing copyright piracy and a lack of competition in the domestic market that he said could impede their expansion.

"The digital renaissance offers China an opportunity to exercise leadership," Mr. Murdoch told the World Media Summit in Beijing, hosted by the state-run Xinhua news agency. Alluding to China's "open door" policy that ushered in economic reforms in the late 1970s, Mr. Murdoch said that the government now has a chance to open China's "digital door."

Addressing the same forum, Chinese President Hu Jintao pledged to "continue to make government affairs public, enhance information distribution, safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of foreign news organizations and reporters, and facilitate foreign media coverage of China in accordance with China's laws and regulations."

The three-day World Media Summit, attended by senior officials from several major international media organizations, is part of a broader push by China's state-run media to exert a greater global influence.

Read On
I'm not a fan of Rupert Murdoch. His pioneering work in the corporatizing of the Western news media has been a bad thing. And his work with Roger Ailes at Fox News is an absolute disgrace.

Saying that, I like what he said to Chinese leaders' faces. I agree with him that the opportunity for them to be taken seriously is theirs. Murdoch, no doubt, has his eyes on China and getting into its market. He's just had serious trouble getting anywhere with his efforts.

Interestingly, Murdoch, at this conference in Beijing, also took serious shots at places like Mark's China Blog:
He (Murdoch) blasted media companies that have refused to charge money for their content, and those that have taken advantage of free content on the Internet. "The Philistine phase of the digital age is almost over. The aggregators and the plagiarists will soon have to pay a price for the co-opting of our content," Mr. Murdoch said. "But if we do not take advantage of the current movement toward paid-for content, it will be the content creators, the people in this hall, who will pay the ultimate price and the content kleptomaniacs will triumph."
I'm amused that Murdoch thinks I'm an anti-intellectual.


Ramesh said...

The irony of a "World Media Summit" in Beijing !! I don't think there's even the remotest hope for a vibrant media in this country. In any place, I suppose you take the good with the bad. There's so much that's brilliant about China. I'm afraid the media will not be one of them for a long time.

Mark said...

I agree, Ramesh. China's media is absolutely disgraceful. Unconscionable. And, like you, I don't see it changing any time soon.