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Murdoch lashes out at UK broadcasting establishment

News Corp Europe and Asia chairman and CEO James Murdoch used his James MacTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh International TV Festival to launch a ferocious attack on the BBC, Ofcom, Channel 4 and UK broadcasting public policy.

Hanging his argument on the idea that barriers between TV and other forms of digital media are already breaking down and that the media industry should be allowed to evolve according to the law of the market, Murdoch compared the licence fee that supports the BBC and digital switchover to what he described as “19th century creationism”, that sought to deny the truth of Darwinian natural selection. He said that public policy supported “inefficient infrastructure in the shape of digital-terrestrial television” and created “unaccountable institutions” including the BBC Trust, Channel 4 and Ofcom.

Murdoch argued that “the right path” was “about embracing private enterprise and profit as a driver for investment, innovation and independence…and the dramatic reduction of the activities of the state in our sector”.

Murdoch also launched an attack on what he saw as the UK government’s failure to tackle internet piracy.