New technology and personalized preferences are redefining the worldwide media industry, media mogul Rupert Murdoch said Wednesday in Gaston Hall.

In a speech entitled “Creative Destruction: News for the 21st Century,” Murdoch, NewsCorp chairman and chief executive officer, highlighted his company’s accomplishments and continuing efforts to keep pace with the new technology that is increasingly replacing older methods.

“We have one certainty,” he said. “We can never be sure where the industry will end up. Technology is going to destroy all the old ways and old assumptions of doing business, most especially in the media.”

He emphasized the expanding influence of youth in the media, both as consumers and entrepreneurs. He also characterized the current media landscape as one that thrives on innovation.

“We don’t want people who lose sleep because technology is ruining your business,” he said. “We want people who are thinking of how to use that technology to make the other guy lose sleep.”

There is also a certain similarity between his corporation and Georgetown, he said – one that might not be readily apparent.

“Both the Jesuits and NewsCorp attract highly talented people from all over the globe, both like to challenge the status quo and both have the reputation for independence and innovation,” Murdoch said.

“But,” he added, “at NewsCorp, we don’t require vows of chastity and poverty.”

What NewsCorp does require, Murdoch said, is a strong focus on the consumer.

“Technology,” he said, “is bringing us into an exciting new world where you decide what content you want. The choices of the future are going to be generated from the bottom up, rather than from the top down.”

Following his speech, Murdoch opened the floor to questions from students, although he declined to take questions from the press.

In response to one student’s question about the mogul’s interest in acquiring the Long Island Newsday, Murdoch confirmed his interest in purchasing the newspaper.

However, he did also admit that there could be some concerns about antitrust violations linked to such a purchase and that the U.S. Department of Justice “may not let us have it.”

The media mogul said he believes competition is, in fact, the best thing for the industry.

“We are a tiny fraction of the media landscape,” he said. “Everything we’ve done, in my opinion, is to create competition.”

When asked about censorship in China, Murdoch hesitated.

“I better be careful,” he joked. “I always get in trouble when I speak about China, especially in front of my Chinese wife.”

Although he said the door is “firmly shut” to American media in China, Murdoch said that “things are going to change and open up in China.”

urdoch then defended the impartiality of Fox News, a NewsCorp holding, in response to another student’s question about the role his own views play in the news organization.

“It’s very hard to be neutral. People laugh at us because we call ourselves `Fair and Balanced.’ Fact is, CNN, who has always been extremely liberal, never had a Republican or conservative voice on it,” he said. “The only difference is that we have equal voices on both sides, but that seems to have upset a lot of liberals.”

urdoch concluded his speech by challenging students to pursue careers in media.

“There is no security,” he warned, “but if you are talented, innovative and hungry to learn, the opportunities are unlimited.”

The speech was sponsored by the McDonough School of Business and the Lecture Fund.

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