Exeter, Devon UK • Jul 15, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home Comment End of an Empire? Murdoch’s legacy and what’s next for News Corp

End of an Empire? Murdoch’s legacy and what’s next for News Corp

Following Rupert Murdoch's retirement, Katie Truman discusses his global legacy and what is next for the media empire.
4 mins read
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Image: Alex Proimos via Flickr

In a momentous (and unsurprising) turn of events, the media mogul Rupert Murdoch has announced that he will be retiring from News Corp, therefore setting the stage for his son, Lachlan Murdoch, to take the reins of the global media empire. The departure of Rupert Murdoch, who has been a towering figure in the media landscape for several decades, marks the end of an era and raises important questions about Murdoch’s legacy, challenges ahead, and the future of the general media industry.

Rupert Murdoch’s impact on the media world cannot be overstated. He began his career working on a small newspaper in Adelaide, Australia, and turned it into a global media empire, spanning newspapers, television networks, and digital platforms. Murdoch’s influence reached far beyond the newsroom, as he wielded considerable political power and helped shape the landscape of global politics, with Tony Blair even being the godparent of one of Murdoch’s children.

He wielded considerable political power and helped shape the landscape of global politics

Ultimately, one of the greatest aspects of Murdoch’s legacy is the role that his various media outlets played in the rise of right-wing ideologies worldwide. In the US, Fox News became a platform that amplified right-wing voices and led to an increased polarization of American politics. Similarly, publications like “The Sun” in the UK has played a pivotal role in general elections, for example on its decision on which political party to support. Critics of Murdoch argue that his media empire has been instrumental in the spread of populist and far-right movements globally.

Like the TV show ‘Succession’, with Rupert Murdoch stepping down, all attention is now on his son, Lachlan Murdoch, who will be taking over Murdoch’s role in News Corp. Alongside many of his siblings, Lachlan has been involved in the production of News and the company for a very long time, however he faces a variety of challenges in navigating the rapidly evolving media and political landscape.

One of the immediate challenges faced by Lachlan Murdoch will be in maintaining the profitability of traditional media outlets, especially print newspapers, in an era increasingly dominated by digital media. Alongside this, the rise of left-wing governments throughout Europe, in the US, and Australia, will be an obvious challenge for Lachlan, as News Corp often supports more right-wing governments and organizations.

It will be important for Lachlan Murdoch to address concerns about the editorial stance of some News Corp publications. The controversial and polarizing content produced by these outlets often generates a large amount of criticism, such as ‘The Sun’s’ reporting on the Hillsborough disaster, which has led to calls for more responsible journalism. Balancing editorial freedom with ethical considerations will be essential in maintaining the company’s reputation and will be important in today’s ever-changing society.

Rupert Murdoch’s retirement also sparks discussion about the broader media industry’s future. As traditional media grapples with declining revenue and changing audience preferences, the media landscape continues to shift. Digital platforms have disrupted the traditional gatekeeping role of media organizations. Lachlan now needs to find more sustainable business models in this evolving media landscape.

As traditional media grapples with declining revenue and changing audience preferences, the media landscape continues to shift.

Overall, Rupert Murdoch’s retirement marks the end of a remarkable chapter in the history of media and his legacy will be scrutinized for years to come. As Lachlan Murdoch steps into his father’s shoes, the global media industry watches closely, eager to see how he will navigate the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly changing media landscape. The future of News Corp and the broader media industry hangs in the balance, and only time will tell what lies ahead.

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