No Brake and No Disclosure on Media Owners’ Interests 155


The Times today carries an article on ISIS’ oil interests, Syria and Turkey. Nowhere does it inform its readers that the owner of the newspaper, Rupert Murdoch, has a vested interest in this subject through his role and shares in Genie Energy, an Israeli company granted oil rights in Syria by the Israeli government. Dick Cheney and Lord Rothschild are also shareholders.

No, they really are. This is not a conspiracy theory. It is a conspiracy.

That Israel should grant oil rights within Syria is of course a striking example of contempt for international law, but then that is the basis on which Israel normally operates. Of course Genie’s share value will be substantially boosted by the installation of a neo-con puppet regime in Damascus which can be bought to underwrite the oil concession granted by Israel. Contempt for international law has been the single most important defining characteristic of neo-conservatism, and the need to uphold international law the recurring theme of this blog. I never thought the UK government would make the withdrawal of its support for the concept of international law explicit, as Cameron has done by removing the obligation to comply with international law from the Ministerial Code. That is truly, truly disgraceful.

But to return to Murdoch’s oil interests in Syria, it seems to me a fundamental flaw that when Fox News, Sky News, the Times, the Sun and Murdoch’s numerous other media outlets bang the drum for Western military action in Syria, there is no requirement for the consumer of this propaganda to be told that the outlet is pushing a policy in line with the financial interests of its owner. Even for those actively seeking information, there is no register of the interests of media proprietors.

It is a wonderful irony that there is a register of the interests of the board members of the Independent Press Standards Organisation, but no register of the interests of media proprietors!

This is not an accident. The Leveson Inquiry did receive evidence and questioned a witness – Dr Rowan Cruft of the University of Stirling – who suggested that a proprietor’s financial interest in a story should be revealed. Robert Jay, QC to the counsel asked:

Robert Jay

This is on your page 8, our page 00885. You say:
“First of all, the code could do more to require proprietors, editors and journalist to declare their financial and also their political interests and to declare these to readers as well as editors.”
I don’t think the code does anything to require proprietors, editors and journalist to do that.

Dr Rowan Cruft
That’s right.

Robert Jay QC goes on first to suggest any duty to declare financial interests should only apply to specifically financial journalists. He then moves quickly on to discuss the implications of declaring political interests of proprietors. Robert Jay QC is a clever man and he managed to avoid any discussion of the financial interests of proprietors whatsoever. Shortly after the Inquiry concluded, he was promoted by the Government to be a High Court Judge.

The Leveson Inquiry totally ignored the real rot in Britain’s media – the massive concentration of media ownership and its subservience to other corporate interests. The revised Code of Conduct which was its result does not contain any reference to proprietors’ interests even in the very limited context of writing about stocks and shares. A financial journalist has a duty to declare any interest which he or his family have in a company he writes about, but no duty to declare any interest of his proprietor – the person who is paying him to write.

If you think this is an accident, you are extremely naïve. It is just a tiny glimpse into one aspect of the UK’s extraordinarily dense web of elite corruption,


155 thoughts on “No Brake and No Disclosure on Media Owners’ Interests

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  • exexpat

    The people destroying your world aren’t Christians, Satanists or pagans. They have no connection to any gods of the Earth or Sky, good or bad. They are just shallow psychopaths, organisms whose innate functions have badly misfired. This is why Nature will be forced to wipe them out.

    Miles Mathias

  • jkick

    Here’s another interested party within the region,Genel Energy (not to be confused with Genie) with Rothschild / Tony Hayward links:

    From Wiki

    “Genel Energy plc is an oil company with a registered office in Jersey and field office in Turkey. It has its exploration and production operations in Iraqi Kurdistan with plans to expand its activities into other Middle East and North African countries. The company owns rights in six production sharing contracts, including interests in the Taq Taq, Tawke, and Chia Surkh fields.

    Genel Energy was created in 2011 as a result of the reverse acquisition of Turkish Genel Enerji by Tony Hayward led investment company Vallares. Vallares was set up by Tony Hayward, financier Nat Rothschild and banker Julian Metherell. Genel Enerji was controlled by Mehmet Emin Karamehmet through Çukurova Group (56%) and Mehmet Sepil’s family (44%). In 2009, Genel Enerji planned merger with Heritage Oil; however, the deal subsequently collapsed.

    Tony Hayward is CEO of Genel Energy while former CEO of Genel Enerji Mehmet Sepil became President of the company. The Board includes former deputy chief executive of BP and chairman of Petrofac, Rodney Chase.

    The company is listed at the London Stock Exchange. 50% of Genel Energy is owned by investors of former Vallares, which has merged with Genel Energy.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genel_Energy

  • Mick McNulty

    If Al Capone was alive today he wouldn’t go into organized crime and bribe officials, he’d go into Wall Street and own them. It’s the gangster stage of capitalism, except today the bootleg liquor is oil, the boys they send round are armies and their Tommy guns are TOWs.

  • lurchio

    France has every right to grant Spain the spoils of British Rail after the successful invasion of UK by The French. Or to put it in assimilable perspective, London has every right to grant the English, Scottish North Sea Oil after the likes of Salmond “had disppeared”. Sturgeon and all.

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