Posted by Abbey Barrow
With news of the upcoming News Corporation split into a separate publication company, once again the media spotlight turns to the infamous Rupert Murdoch and his newspaper holdings, including The New York Post. Columnist Michael Wolff of The Guardian recently published his take on the future of the Post, and it’s not positive. Wolff stated that The New York Post will not outlive Rupert Murdoch, and in fact, is seriously on the decline.
But Wolff wasn’t exactly lamenting the passing of this long-standing news staple. Although most historical yellow journalism gossip rags have long faded away, Wolff says The New York Post is one of the only “bully-boy newspapers” remaining where “lawless” and “unrepentant” journalism still have an outlet.
But beyond its place in journalism history, Wolff sees the Post as mostly a representation of Rupert Murdoch and his particular brand of journalism. Infamous for his many corruption scandals, hacking charges, and payoff suspicions, Murdoch and his massive media holdings make him one of the more controversial figures in journalism. One who according to Wolff, uses his publications for his own personal agenda.
“[The Post has] been Murdoch’s money-losing personal instrument for all manner of trouble-making, political power-brokering, and punishment and reward. When it was not being bent to his personal will, it was to that of his editors, picking the paper’s enemies and friends for both personal and institutional benefit,” Wolff writes.
Yet, The New York Post is an industry standard, which still attracts readers, and as Wolff mentions, remains almost one of a kind in the print industry today. Thus, is there still a place for the print gossip rag in today’s Internet dominated media? Does the Post still serve a necessary function despite its scandals? And as for Murdoch, is he also a last remnant of a media age gone by? As one of the kingpins of media conglomerations and perhaps suspect morals, Murdoch hearkens back to figures like William Randolph Hearst, but are the days of the classic media mogul over?