Murdoch: Middle East should open up

City A.M. Reporter
RUPERT Murdoch urged Arab governments yesterday to reject media censorship and open their markets to foreign competition as he opened a high-profile conference aimed at furthering oil-rich Abu Dhabi’s ambitions as a cultural hub.

The chief executive of News Corp, one of the biggest foreign investors in the region’s media, said economic incentives were more effective than protectionism.

“In the face of an inconvenient story it can be tempting to resort to censorship or civil or criminal laws to try to bury it,” he said in the opening keynote speech at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit. “Markets that distort their media end up promoting the very panic and distrust that they had hoped to control,” he said.