Tapped Out

Categories: The Austere Publisher
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Published on: September 23, 2010

The TSL Law Journal has always prided itself as a pinnacle of journalism–even after being acquired by the controversial Baron Murdoch. But now, the New Martian Times, its main competitor, has accused it of the worst types of reporting practices. Is this a case of mudslinging or an expose of the Baron’s newsfeed empire?

"The Beige Dame" was for decades considered the most respected newsfeed in the Kroy Territory. And when Baron Murdoch purchased the Journal 15 years ago, insiders wondered if the famous impartiality of the Journal was gone. Baron Murdoch has long been noted for his ruthless methods in obtaining, creating, and promoting the news stories that play on his feeds. His ability to slant facts to create sensational angles has made him notorious.

But the sensationalism he brings has attracted a wide audience and has given him billions of readers galaxy-wide. Baron Murdoch’s leadership brought a decidedly conservative bent to the news stories in the Journal, but on the whole there were no real journalistic improprieties in its reporting. The Baron’s other news feeds were a different story.

The Baron’s media empire has numerous sources all over the galaxy. His main publications ‘across the rift’ in the Bryttasish sectors are in tabloid journalism like ‘News of the Galaxy.’ This tabloid, like many in Great Bryttas, focused on getting the inside track on what was going on with all the stars of the sector. And there are no bigger stars than the bloodline of the Tawder Baronets.

So when the Galaxy published a story about the private life of the heir of the Tawder bloodline, it was counted as a major scoop. But the very exact details that were published had only been discussed through private communicators. The heir himself was baffled how the Galaxy had obtained the information. The Bryttas police force was soon involved, and during the course of their investigation they accused two reporters from the Galaxy of hacking into the heir’s messaging system and printing the messages they found verbatim.

The New Martian Times reported on the story with head-shaking disapproval and all but accused the Galaxy of creating an environment in their news offices where reporters who took such steps were rewarded.

But the Galaxy was not about to let one of their major competitors chastise them. The managing editor of the Galaxy, Whil Karakas, sent a letter detailing their complaints to the TSL Law Journal.

"We see that you haven’t brought any new information up to back up your serious accusations. And with your past history of having a vested interest in the outcome of any story being one that you’ve already predicted, we see your articles about this ongoing investigation to be equally slated and biased. We, in addition, feel that you should exercise caution when using former employees of our paper as references, as your readers may not know the reasons why their opinions may be biased. And we must say this clearly and emphatically: there is no "culture of wrong doing" at the News of the Galaxy."

But the New Martian Times has stuck by its article, and has fired back at any critics who agree with the tabloid’s rebuttal. And despite the Galaxy’s Baron-backed attack against it, the Times does have evidence to back up it’s claim. The allegations of wire tapping the  Tawder heir was not the first time the Galaxy was charged for a crime committed in pursuit of a story. In point of fact, the Galaxy has been sued numerous times including one charge of wiretapping for the intended purpose of slandering a competitor. Even with accusations against it’s critics, the tabloid is the only one that has been caught red handed.

If it is proved that the Galaxy’s reporters were acting in accordance to their editor’s wishes, Baron Murdoch himself could be implicated. There would not be a ‘culture of wrong doing in the Barony unless he gave his approval. The Baron is deeply involved with maintaining control over his employees, and anyone who had tried to encourage this sort of behavior on their own would have been found out and fired early. If the Times is right and the Baron is encouraging ill behavior in the pursuit of the news, there’s no telling what other methods his dozens of news sources may be using at this moment.

But worse than having a prominent and powerful baron approving such behavior is the fact that the Bryttasish baronies seem to approve of the actions as well. The editor deemed responsible for the Tawder Heir Story was ousted from the Galaxy news desk… and quickly found employment as a press secretary to the Bryttasish Baronet. No explanation has been given by the Baronet’s office as to why they would hire someone who has already proved himself a threat to their sector’s security.


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