Jonathan Mirsky

Risky Business

Press Gang: How Newspapers Make Profits From Propaganda

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The Murdoch Archipelago

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Simon & Schuster 580pp £20 order from our bookshop

ROY GREENSLADE WANTS the readers of his entertaining, over-stuffed book to learn two ‘lessons’. Most readers of the Literary Review will know them already, but here they are again: ‘editors can be brilliant under any proprietor but they cannot achieve greatness unless they have either a brilliant owner or, better still, no owner at all’; and ‘newspapers were not democratic institutions.. . . Ownership conferred rights on proprietors which allowed them to do as they wished’. I don’t know why the second lesson is in the past tense.

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