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Crowdfunding bid to acquire Rupert Murdoch's Times and Sunday Times

posted Aug 8, 2014, 2:00 AM by Siamak Ebarhimi

Idealists of the world unite! An organisation calling itself Let's Own The News has launched a crowdfunding campaign with the aim of acquiring the Times and Sunday Times.
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It believes £100m would do the job - £50m to buy the loss-making titles and a further £50m to make them profitable.

"With the fall in the value of newspapers and the rise in crowdfunding", it says, "we can collectively acquire the papers from the most powerful press baron, Rupert Murdoch."crowdfunding advertising

And why should Murdoch sell? Evidently, because he would like to take a step forward for our democracy and to rejuvenate his public image after the phone hacking scandal.

He would also wish to retain goodwill in the face of public pressure should the organisers raise the necessary £100m.indiegogo marketing

People, who cannot own more than 1% of the total amount, are being asked to make a pledge of money and will only be expected to pay should the bid prove successful.

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The campaign's founder, Laurie Fitzjohn, sees it as a radical solution to the power of the press barons. In an email, he writes:

"Currently, five families control 80% of the national newspapers we read. This isn't a free press and it undermines our democracy. Our politicians are in fear of the press barons... A crowd acquisition of the Times and The Sunday Times would be an important and achievable step in reducing the power of the press barons."kickstarter marketing

One of the initiative's backers is The Young Foundation. Its chief executive, Simon Willis, said: "We're backing this campaign because we want to tackle powerful incumbent institutions and groups that perpetuate inequality.

"It's fundamentally undemocratic that such immense power lies with such a small group who can use their influence to shape public opinion in a way that suits them."

He and Fitzjohn clearly believe the idea will pique public interest and thereby promote a debate that could, conceivably, lead to a flood of pledges.kickstarter project

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By David Khorram