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on 5 December 2011
This superb account of the Murdoch empire, brought right up to date, is an exciting and scholarly read. It tells of how Murdoch has systematically traded media reporting for power and monopoly. It breaks the myths - for example that he is a guru of tabloid circulation, that he is anti-establishment, that he is a news hound - and shows the news empire for what it is: a tyrant's tool.
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on 14 October 2003
Bruce Page's The Murdoch Archipelago is a stunner! A clear mind and a sharp moral sense are at work here to lay bare the career of a scoundrel - and what his kind of success shows us about our time and ourselves. Page tells a complex story with verve and style. He first lets us see how the Murdoch enterprise works - but then, why it works: why politicians yield to him, and precisely what his capacity is to traffic with power while pretending to rebel against it. Yet this is more than the story of one man. The important point, says Page, "is that Murdoch's operation may well be the general model of media empires which live in corporatist bliss with slowly degrading national governments." Buy it, read it and learn from this tale for our times.
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on 16 March 2010
This is certainly a well researched book but one of the true merits of a good journalist is clarity in his or her writing. I find this book does not have sufficient clarity and the reader tends to get lost in the detail which in certain sections produces a vague picture of one of the leading giants of the 20th Century who has done much to change the media.
Nevertheless this is a worthwhile read, particularly when it deals with Rupert Murdoch's family background.
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In this brilliantly written and hard-hitting book, Bruce Page analyses in depth R. M.'s character (based on T. Adorno's `The Authoritarian Personality'), the history of his media empire, the power links, the revolutions in the media scene and the crucial test `freedom v. pseudo-freedom' for democracy.
His book contains also excellent information on such important historical issues as `Bloody Sunday' or the `Thatcher Years'.

Media landscape
In the early days of TV, newspapers didn't cover TV programs enough compared with the role they played in the life of their readers. Now, there is a close and vital embrace between TV and the newspaper industry (and most of all the tabloids).

Newspapers and pseudo-newspapers
A real news business, like newspapers must chase tirelessly after authentic (independent of opinion) disclosures. Some newspapers don't even try it; they are called pseudo-newspapers.
Effective and independent disclosures will bring newspapers into substantial conflict with the governing powers of the day.
Pseudo-newspapers will give active support of governing power to the extent of assisting it with official propaganda. The facts that are in the public interest are not published or selectively disclosed or covertly manipulated.

Freedom v. pseudo-freedom
The media system has been rightly thought to be the brightest hope for enlightenment, liberty and entertainment. But, the system became corrupted through profitable (corporate) alliances with the powerful in government. Law and regulations don't constitute a barrier anymore, if there is sufficient influence with sufficiently powerful people.

For B. Page, democracy is fictional if media are there only for the ruling class. Only when the media are transparent, can the essential qualities of the intimate republic be saved.
Governments must not be allowed to hand over the use of public `goods', which give liberties material expression, to conspicuous free riders. Otherwise, a free society commits suicide.

Bruce Page wrote a very courageous and most necessary analysis of the Australian, English and US media scene. For him, democracies should be foolish to ignore media influences, which may be considered the greatest danger modern society faces.
A must read.
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on 28 January 2012
This is one of the most badly written books I have ever read. Bruce Page must have written it in a hurry.
People are giving this book good reviews because they are trying to get their own back on Murdoch after the Milly Dowler phone-hacking scandal in the UK.
As much as I despise Rupert Murdoch and his nasty right-wing media empire I will not give a good review rating to a book simply because it criticises Murdoch.
Bruce Page had the opportunity to stick the boot into Murdoch and he ended up kicking himself in the face.
This book was reviewed in Private Eye magazine when it first came out. Private Eye gave it a terrible review and I concur.
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on 13 July 2004
This is the most boring book I have read in years. I found myself being lost in keeping track of what was being discussed as the author attempts to give such a detailed background to a situation that you end up asking yourself 'where am I'.
I would not recommend this book to anyone except to those who like to get lost in studying deeply the background as opposed to what has actully happened.
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