The decision, described by some as the 'Berlusconi moment', prompted an OurKingdom post by Oliver Huitson who presented the media mogul's bid for full ownership of the broadcaster as a threat to our democracy. It sparked a strong debate between him and David Elstein, an influential figure in the British media industry who has worked for both the BBC and BSkyB (and is Chair of openDemocracy's board).
The exchange is in the comments following Oliver Huitson's article 'Can Murdoch be Stopped?...'
Excerpt from Oliver Huitson, author of the article:
Its not a question of punishing him, its attempting to keep media as an open environment not dominated by one man. I appreciate your arguments for his business acumen but is there not a point when success in media becomes a problem for democracy, and isnt that more important than Murdoch's bottom line? We could debate this endlessly, but the upper echelons of Westminster presumably have a pretty good idea of his real power - and judging by their actions they seem to think its substantial, as i do.
Excerpt from David Elstein:
The chorus of hostility to the News Corp bid for BSkyB is largely based on atavistic impulses. Big is bad, Murdoch is worse. Yet the bid - as far as I can see - makes absolutely no difference to media plurality (perhaps Ofcom will disagree).
It is a model debate, with a vigorous exchange of views, clearly set out, without the personal attacks or denigration that so often mar internet comments. Read the full exchange here.