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sábado, julio 16, 2011


El muy temido dueño de medios de comunicación, con quien todos en Inglaterra trataron de quedar bien, ahora recibe, animadas por una ola de indignación popular, a la que convenencieramente se suben políticos antes fraternos, justas recriminaciones por los medios inmorales e, inclusive ilegales, con las que sus periódicos sensacionalistas acostumbraban obtener primicias. Quien permitió a sus empleados usufructuar de las miserias y del escándalo ajeno, ahora, en compañía de sus subordinados, es ubicado en el centro de la plaza pública para recibir el escarnio de la muchedumbre, a la que se suma una larguísima lista de ofendidos que antes no alzaban la voz para protestar los métodos del "bully" y su secuaces.

Mal deben andar las calificaciones éticas del periodismo que practican los medios de Robert Murdoch, cuando el mismísimo Larry Flint se siente en el deber de marcarle pautas de moralidad profesional:
One of the few values Rupert Murdoch and I share is the importance of a free press...We recognize that, if we lose free expression in the media, we will have lost everything. And, perhaps most important, we understand that in the quest to protect this freedom, boundaries must be pushed... The way in which we push those boundaries, however, is where we differ. I test limits by publishing controversial material and paying people who are willing to step forward and expose political hypocrisy... (but) One cannot live off the liberty and benefits of a free press while ignoring the privacy of the people.

People such as Murdoch and I, as heads of publishing conglomerates, have a responsibility to maintain and respect this boundary. While Murdoch may understand the significance of what we do under the umbrella of free speech, he may fail to recognize the liability attached to publication. Simply put, he publishes what he wants, apparently regardless of how he gets information and heedless of the responsibility associated with the power he wields.

Murdoch’s enterprises have consistently published stories about people who did not give permission to have their private lives dissected in the media — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg... News Corp. employees allegedly hired known criminals to obtain private information... News Corp. employees allegedly paid police officers for illegally obtained information about the queen. Meanwhile, Roger Ailes, chief of Murdoch’s Fox News, runs a well-oiled propaganda machine.

No matter how offensive or distasteful some people may find Hustler magazine and my other publications, no one has appeared unwillingly in their pages... I focus not on those who are innocent, but rather on those who practice the opposite of what they very publicly preach. This may be considered an extreme or controversial practice in getting a story, but it is far from criminal...

Freedom of the press and the right to privacy do not have to be combatants. The people have tasked members of the news media with the duty and the responsibility to provide information. As publishers, we must find the boundary, push it, but refuse to cross it — never selling out our readers and never publishing what we cannot verify... If the allegations are true, Murdoch did not just cross the line — he erased it. By doing so, he has placed all of us who enjoy freedom of the press at grave risk. Only when our readership trusts us to provide material acquired honestly can a free press continue to be a driving force in preserving our democracy.

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