Monday, December 12, 2005

MediaGuardian UK
Fox News was ordered to alter its coverage of the riots in France after a Saudi prince with shares in its parent company News Corporation complained to Rupert Murdoch.
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdul aziz Al-Saud told a conference in Dubai he had telephoned Mr Murdoch after seeing a strapline on the news channel describing the disturbances as "Muslim riots".

"I picked up the phone and called Murdoch and said that I was speaking not as a shareholder, but as a viewer of Fox. I said that these are not Muslim riots, they are riots," Campaign Middle East magazine quoted the prince as saying.

"He investigated the matter and called Fox and within half an hour it was changed from 'Muslim riots' to 'civil riots'."

The prince said his intervention had been an example of how Muslim people can change the portrayal of their religion in the western media - although few Fox viewers will have his contacts.
It is not the first time he has admitted to trying to influence Mr Murdoch's coverage of sensitive issues.
In a recent Financial Times interview he said he did not wish to "intrude" into the management of companies in which he holds shares.
But he said he did talk to Mr Murdoch and Richard Parsons, the chief executive of AOL Time Warner, about where he believed the media had got things wrong.
"My job is to open their eyes to things they may not have seen," he said.
Last month's rioting marked France's worst unrest since the student riots of May 1968. Thousands of cars were set alight following the death of two teenage boys who were allegedly being pursued by police.

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