Jan 22, 2009

Free Press, Well Almost Free

The controlling stake in London's Evening Standard had been sold to oligarch Aleksandr Lebedev for one pound. The former-KGB agent's interest in the paper remains unclear, but is certainly not for profit, because the paper is reportedly hemorrhaging almost one million pounds a month.

It's really a sweet story...as a spy in England the Evening Standard served as a key source of information for Lebedev, so he's decided to give back to it...hopefully not by providing it with his own disinformation. Lebedev claims that he will not interfere in the content of the paper, other than ensuring that it is "unbiased." According to an interview by the International Herald Tribune, Roy Greenslade, who writes a column for the paper, argues that there are "five reasons for owning newspapers, and all begin with a "p" - profit, propaganda, political influence, prestige and public service." Which begs the question....which is it?

1 comment:

nimh said...

Well, profit and public service are out, so that leaves ...