Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Public pressure beats checkbook journalism

Public pressure does count as the OJ Simpson saga has shown in the United States.

In a rare move for the chief executive of an international media conglomerate, News Media Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch, has weighed in on the O.J. Simpson controversy.

The book and programme "If I Did It", in which Simpson describes how he would have killed his ex-wife and her friend, had caused public outrage.

Simpson was acquitted of murdering ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman on 12 June 1994.

Rupert Murdoch called the O.J. TV interview and O.J. confession book an "ill-conceived project" and cancelled both of them.

Mr. Murdoch's News Corp is the parent company of publisher Harper Collins which would have published the book, slated to be released on November 30. Judith Regan, publisher of ReganBooks, had said she considered the book Mr Simpson's confession.

Several affiliates of Mr Murdoch's Fox TV had refused to screen the interview on the grounds of bad taste.

The book and TV interview deal with Mr Murdoch's broadcasting and publishing companies was worth $3.5m. This time public outrage has killed the deal which was rediculous and in poor taste in the first place.

During the interview, Mr Simpson describes how he would have carried out the murders at his ex-wife's home in Los Angeles "if he were the one responsible for their killing."

This incident shows how low some media companies will scoop for financial gains. It also shows in an interconnected world of instant communication, the peoples voice is the real power.

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