The Anti-Murdoch Network

This entry was posted on
Friday, November 5th, 2004
10:25 am and is filed
under Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch.

First off; why are we doing this?

Well, I said before the US election that – even if Bush lost – the main problem would remain… Murdoch. Even if we hound Blair out of office, this same problem remains here, too. We’re left with a choice of ‘leaders’ in league with Murdoch or leaders who are crippled by constant attacks from Murdoch.

First draft of logoI tried to explain the scale of this to my 9-year-old son last night. The guts of the exchange went as follows:

If someone wants more than 5 television stations, if they get satellite TV, what company do they use?
Murdoch owns it. How many different newspapers do you see down at the newsagent each day?
About eight.
Close enough. Murdoch owns two of them. And because of something known as the ‘echo effect’, what he pushes forward often reaches four or five others. What’s Dad’s favourite movie?
Star Wars
Guess what?
Murdoch owns it?
You got it. What’s my favourite TV show?
M*A*S*H…. or The Simpsons. Which one does he own?
(pause) Wow. And you’re going to fight this guy?
I’m going to do what I can.
(laugh) Good luck!


1. The alternative is to simply let it wash over us. As Murdoch gets bolder. There’s still much he feels he has to achieve (such as the destruction of the BBC and ownership of a terrestrial station in the UK). If no-one fights, everyone loses.2. Murdoch has a soft under-belly; it’s hidden in his so-called mandate. Murdoch influences the lives of billions, but nobody voted for the man. His defence (on the rare occasions he is called to answer himself) is that people vote with their wallets every day. But the vast majority of people don’t know where the money goes to (or where the information comes from) when they watch such-and-such a programme or read such-and-such a newspaper. We are going to correct that.Stand on the shore and the ocean looks pretty bloody huge. It beats at the rocks and wears them down, slowly but surely. The sand on your small area of the beach comes and goes at its whim.Stand even further back to see that the ocean covers most of the planet and you can expect to feel just a little intimidated by that. But you only have to build a small wall out into the ocean and you can protect or even shape your shoreline for the better. Show other people how to do the same thing and you’ve got progress.So here’s how it’s going to work:The Guts Of The PlanA central hub will be set up at Bloggerheads that will act as:1. An anchor-point for all anti-Murdoch projects2. A recruitment tool(i.e. “Here’s what other people are doing, you probably came here from one of these projects. Now, here’s what you can do to make these projects a success or build your own project…”)Each project will have one clear and central message/purpose. We are not out to create a thousand hate sites. We are out to create a thousand information sites. And, as should be clear, Murdoch is often too big to explain. We’re going to take it one target at a time and be very clear in our delivery of the message. If they want to see more, they need only come to the centre and look out.In other words, the only other role these projects will have is to draw people to that centre so they may:1. Enjoy the perspective2. Be motivated to build their own project.So, and just to hammer this home… each project has one purpose and one purpose alone. The only ‘distraction’ from that purpose is to drive other people to make their own project. There may be scope to link to a few sister projects (e.g. a project that targets The Sun would probably want to link to a project that points out how much tax Murdoch pays in the UK… which is none) but the primary external link will essentially say “Join the Anti-Murdoch Network”(PS – There will also be link tools for people who come onside by merely linking with “I Support the Anti-Murdoch Network”…)Here’s the next rule… one person, one project. In short; you need to be as focused as your project.The project can be held at your existing website, or you can build a new one. Strategically, it makes sense to go for the former if you already have a bit of link support (a good example is BorisWatch held at ProjectsMessage Projects….Here are two that have already been built:I Believe In The BBCPage 3 – Model PropagandaMonitoring Projects…Do people know they’re being lied to? Do they know where those lies originate?The first big project of this kind that needs to be built is a site not unlike The Daily Mail Watch, but focused entirely on The Sun. This is already coming together, but it needs a few extra watchers/writers and a graphic designer. Get in touch if you want to help.Smaller Blogger-based projects will be ample to tackle local newspapers that Murdoch owns on a format that is not entirely unlike How To Run a ‘Proxy’ Weblog on Behalf of Your MP. (Why do this? Well, here’s one thing to chew on… Last month, Outfoxed was released in cinemas across Australia. Many smaller towns have only one newspaper. Owned by Murdoch. That refused to run ads for the film.)A simple page at the hub should be enough to co-ordinate these for now, but once there are a few in place, it would be a very good idea to aggregate these blogs (here’s an example of this at work) and build a specific project out of *that* (i.e. create a small network of small newspaper monitors so a ‘big picture’ of sorts can be created that retains a simple central message/theme).Larger ProjectsI’ll let on about these when they look like becoming reality. No sense bleating about pie-in-the-sky stuff, as it only makes us look stupid. But if we get to a certain level within – say – 6 months, I have a large project already in mind that can be built with elbow-grease alone. You’ll like it.FundingOn the subject of elbow-grease, this is going to be one of our key materials in the opening stages, but once we reach a level of effectiveness, it would make sense to seek funding from victims of Murdoch to create larger projects. There are plenty of them. Some have had their careers destroyed, some have survived. The survivors will have money. And a grudge.Taking it OfflineThis pretty much requires money, but one or two projects (usually localised or message-based ones) may be able to encourage people to take the information offline in the form of pamphlets, posters or (here we get cheeky) inserts that can be slipped inside Murdoch’s newspapers.TimelineIn theory, it makes sense to capitalise on the feelings that have arisen from Bush’s win in the US, but confidence and perception are important. We have enough recruits right now to quietly discuss matters and get people cracking on individual projects while the new Bloggerheads machine (complete with hub) is built. The smarter move would be to do the launch-proper in about a month from now, with some well-thought-out projects already in place. Confidence, perception – and a solid lead by example.Your RoleHave a good, long, think. Pick a potential target, and propose a project.

About Tim Ireland

Tim is the sole author of Bloggerheads.
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