Murdoch’s Fall

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Kul comments on the current News of the World issues and tapping scams in India and lets Osho talk on ‘healthy journalism’

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall;

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men

Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

Murdoch Humpty Dumpty

Rupert Murdoch was sitting pretty on the wall of his multi-billion dollar global media empire until a few weeks ago when unexpectedly, he had a great fall. The phone hacking scandal or his 168-year old tabloid, News of the World, hit the ceiling and the highest selling Sunday newspaper had to be shut down with the next edition in a few days. All the king’s men – the Prime Ministers, the Cabinet Ministers, the Members of Parliament, the Police bosses and everyone who mattered and managed to stay in power with Murdoch’s support – could not put him together back again.

With non-stop, sensational news of phone hacking, paying police and law breaking, Murdoch is under siege. Every day, more top Murdoch executives resigned and soon two top police chiefs also had to go. Murdock and son were grilled by British MPs live on global TV. The avalanche of disaster is unlikely to end for some months, if not years.

The unholy nexus between the politicians, the police and the press (PPP) exposed the rotten under-belly of British establishment as it spread to the United States and Australia where Murdoch owns sizable chunks of the media. The supreme media Moghul had his head in his hands as he went to the family of the murdered teenager girl whose mobile his employees had hacked to obtain a shocking front page news. Later, he apologised in signed ads to the public.

The same PPP nexus was exposed in India to create a furore over the tapping of lobbyist Niira Radia’s phone. The tapping, however, had not been done by the media but involved some senior media personalities who allegedly used media to promote private interests in one of the biggest scams in this country. Top government functionaries and industrialists were also recorded bending the rules. In India, there is a fourth ‘P’ referring to property developers who are also key players in this game.

In all this skullduggery the media plays a central role. With public inquiries launched in Britain and perhaps in other countries, it is high time to evaluate the function of the media. Osho outlines below the purpose and the role of media.

By healthy journalism, I mean journalism which nourishes the whole personality of man – his body, his mind, his soul journalism whose whole concern is to create a better humanity, not just to report what is happening. Journalism should not be just a news medium, it should also be great literature – then it is healthy. Even yesterday’s newspaper should remain of some worth, so that even today it can be read. It should not be so momentary. But if you are only a news medium then naturally, once the day has passed, the news is old. You should make something that never becomes old, and always remains new.

That’s what great literature is. Dostoevsky’s novels, or those of Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekhov, or Turgenev, Rabindranath Tagore … they will remain significant as long as humanity remains, and as fresh as ever.

Something in your journalism should have that quality, and that quality can be introduced. You can have space for news, but that should be secondary. Because what are those news reports? What are they going to do? Somebody steals – what is the point of reporting it? And somebody commits suicide – what is the point of reporting it? Why make it news unnecessarily? You are filling your space with absolutely nonessential things.

Bring the essential in. You have poets, you have painters, you have writers, you have spiritual giants – you can introduce all of them. They should be your major part, and politics should be just your third page, or fourth page – or maybe no page! You have made these politicians so huge, so exaggerated, and then the whole country suffers. The whole world is suffering because of these people, and you will have to take responsibility for it. These people should be cut down to size and put in their place. Somebody may be the president of the country; that doesn’t mean much. The question is whether he is a great president; the quality is the question.

Osho, The New Dawn, Ch19 (longer excerpt: What is healthy journalism?)

This is more topical that Breaking News now – before putting together a new Humpty Dumpty.

Text by Kul Bhushan

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