The New Statesman explains what the closeness between the Murdoch empire and Britain’s Cameron government says about the corruption of power:
At last month’s Times CEO summit (£) he called for all pupils to be provided with tablet computers, adding that he would be “thrilled” if 10 per cent of News Corp’s revenues came from education in the next five years. Wireless Generation, an education technology company recently acquired by Murdoch for $360m, was awardeda a $27 million no-bid contract by the New York education department.
It begs the question of whether News Corp is looking to set up its own free schools. In response to such a query, Times columnist and executive editor Daniel Finkelstein tweeted:
“News Corp is indeed taking an interest in the creation of new schools. That is precisely what mtgs were about!”
It’s not hard to see why the company is “taking an interest”, particularly if the schools are eventually allowed to make a profit. But, to coin a phrase, would News Corp really be considered a “fit and proper” company to run a school?
Even if the company’s ambitions are limited to digital learning systems and other services, it could find itself under scrutiny. In the wake of the hacking scandal, the NY education department is under pressure to revoke the $27 million contract it awarded to Wireless Generation. Mark Johnson, a spokesman for controller Thomas DiNapoli, has announced that the scandal will be taken into account in the state review process for the contract. But will Gove allow News Corp to make similar inroads into English education?