07 April 2009

The Brooklyn Corporation

I have been holding off on writing about Rupert Murdoch's New Corporation buying the 30-year-old Brooklyn Paper, mainly because I like the publication and its coverage, and I slightly know the publisher.

The acquisition was mentioned by a couple speakers at the recent memorial for Gowanus Lounge blogger Robert Guskind, and not in approving terms. I have to agree that I share their concern. Brooklyn has long lacked for strong editorial voices sounded on the borough's behalf. The big Manhattan dailies do not care overly much what happens in Brooklyn. So a lot depends on what is covered in the smaller-league publications based in Kings County.

News Corp. already owns the Courier Life Publications, which include such titles as the Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill Courier, the Fort Greene/Clinton Hill Courier, the Bay Ridge Courier, Flatbush Life, the Park Slope Courier and Brooklyn Heights Courier. With the Brooklyn Paper, that's too much of Brooklyn news covered by one man (from Australia!) for my comfort.

It's quite obvious to me that the politically conservative Murdoch is intent on controlling news coverage in the politically liberal New York. He already owns the New York Post and Wall Street Journal, among the major dailies. In Queens, he owns the TimesLedger Newspapers and in the Bronx he has the Bronx Times Reporter. (All these smaller local papers work out of the same suite of office in the Metrotech complex.)

The people who edit these publications like to assert that Murdoch loves their publications and doesn't wish them to change. Anyone who believes that is afflicted with almost criminal-level credulity. The mogul is intent on a monopoly of media opinion and nothing short. So, Brooklyn bloggers, be on guard.

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