Murdoch press freedom warning

Elisabeth Murdoch became the third member of her family to give the celebrated MacTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh International Television Festival. In the speech she warned of the threat to Press freedom from "enemies within".

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Murdoch warns of media threat from 'enemies within'

Elisabeth Murdoch also warned of the threat to press freedom from "enemies within" - an apparent reference to those accused of involvement in the News International phone-hacking scandal.

She said News Corp was "currently asking itself some very significant and difficult questions about how some behaviours fell so short of its values".

In regard to the impact on press freedoms following the scandal, she said:

Let's see what the Leveson Inquiry recommends but, when there has been such an unsettling dearth of integrity across so many of our institutions, it is very difficult to argue for the right outcome - which must be the fierce protection of a free press and light-touch media regulation. Sadly, the greatest threats to our free society are too often from enemies within.

Elisabeth Murdoch praises the BBC and her father

Elisabeth Murdoch praised her father's "vision, will and sense of purpose". Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

In contrast to her brother, who used his 2009 speech to lambast the BBC, Elisabeth Murdoch reiterated her support for the corporation and its licence fee and praised the "vision and leadership" of outgoing Director-General Mark Thompson.

Yet she cautioned that his successor, George Entwistle, must show how "efficiently" the BBC spent its money.

She also had firm praise for her father, Rupert, who she said "had the vision, the will and the sense of purpose to challenge the old world order on behalf of 'the people"'.


Elisabeth Murdoch attacks brother's profit pitch in TV speech

Elisabeth Murdoch, the daughter of media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, has distanced herself from her brother James as she warned of the dangers of unethical profiteering during her landmark speech to television executives in Edinburgh.

Ms Murdoch, who founded the production company that boasts MasterChef and Merlin within its output, quoted from her brother's 2009 MacTaggart lecture in which he said profit was the only "reliable and perpetual guarantor of independence".

The reason his statement sat so uncomfortably is that profit without purpose is a recipe for disaster. [The industry and] global society [need to] reject the idea that money is the only effective measure of all things or that the free market is the only sorting mechanism.

– Elisabeth Murdoch
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