The Effects Rupert Murdoch Had On Global

Communications Essay, Research Paper

In the 1980s, a “wave of global liberalization gathered momentum…this new economic, political, and ideological environment of the 1980s and 1990s has greatly stimulated TNC cross- border expansion and has more closely integrated the world economy” (P. 26). One person who has lead and followed this cross- border expansion is the noteworthy Rupert Murdoch. His strategies of building his global media empire are a precedent for others to follow.

One of Murdoch s strategies of building his successful media empire is that he believes that the newspaper s role is to entertain. It is not so much to educate. In 1969, Murdoch purchased The Sun and completely redesigned the traditional newspaper into a tabloid-typed newspaper. Murdoch introduced weekly theme editions as well as the surprising “page three lovelies.” These page layouts of the young topless females combined with the style of tabloid journalism often attracted a lot of attention.

Knowing what kind of an audience to target to is very important in marketing of a product. Murdoch knows and understands this better than anyone. If without a dependable audience, what is to become of the product? Will one still make profit? The answer is clear. Murdoch had transformed The Sun to target some male readers with the “page three lovelies” had definitely aided in readership. What heterosexual male would not want to see young, beautiful, topless ladies for a small fee? When Murdoch acquired 20th Century Fox, he knew there was a great market of young audiences so he would put on young actors on sexy shows. In addition to drawing in young audiences, Murdoch also drew in advertisers. Moreover,

Murdoch also knew the market of sports viewing would draw in the large audiences of sports fans. For the past twenty years, Fox had the rights to broadcast NFL on Sundays.

Murdoch also believes that the world of business is a battlefield for war. When Murdoch first started out, a competing Aussie newspaper took his inexperience as a chance to put him out of business, but Murdoch stuck to his guns and his trade that he eventually won out at the end. Later Murdoch took his profit from his merging with The Sun Times and bought out small newspaper companies across Australia thus signified the building of his media army which would later lead him in taking on the world.

Another one of Murdoch s strategy in building his global media empire is his positive relationship with numerous politicians and with the government. Murdoch knows that “the social and the political power associated with control over the media has been recognized from the very dawn… in all societies the question of who owns and controls the media, and for what purposes, have been political issues” (P. 11). In 1964, Murdoch established an Australian national newspaper called The Australian. He used this newspaper to endorse and support the Australian Prime Minister at the time. Murdoch s also utilized The Sun to endorse Margaret Thatcher who later assisted him in curbing a union strike within Murdoch s company. After the purchasing of the New York Post, Murdoch had wanted to buy two more national newspapers; however, it was a monopoly to do so. But the government officials miraculously ignored this. This is due to the blatant fact that Murdoch by this time had plenty of connections in the government arena. Since Murdoch had previously endorsed these governmental officials and often times, aided in their winning of an office position, why would not these officials repay Murdoch? Another example is when Murdoch acquired the film

studio, 20th Century Fox but had to clear numerous hurdles. Due to again to his governmental connections, the hurdles were flattened easily and quietly. Murdoch knew the importance of establishing positive ties with government officials. The method of quid pro quo has worked on his side and had furthered his own business interests.

Being a good businessman also meant keeping up with the latest technological advances. With the arrival of television, Murdoch tested his fortune by purchasing a television broadcasting station in Australia and put on American rerun shows and commercials to compete with Sydney s station. Of course in “the 1980s, the advance of communication technologies…brought on the expansion of satellite and cable communication made the global distribution of media far more feasible” (P. 38). In 1989, Murdoch launched his own broadcast satellite; SKY in Europe then later purchased STAR satellite in Asia. Murdoch definitely has a strong hold in both the Western and the Asian markets.

It seems as though Rupert Murdoch has expanded his global media empire to the farthest capacity possible by all means possible. His strategies of developing all of his products as a form of entertainment instead of relevant educational purpose has proven to be successful as well as knowing how and who to target his audiences. Furthermore, to get what he wants, Murdoch maintains positive relationship with the government and keeps updated on technological advances so that he can advance his holding even more. Who knows what will be in store for this businessman? One things is for sure is that Rupert Murdoch s rise to his successful global media empire is due to his business strategies.


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