Just 5% of Britons think that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation should be allowed to wholly-own pay-TV giant BSkyB, according to a poll published this morning. Today marks the end of the public consultation period offered by UK Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt after he approved News Corp’s 100% takeover of Sky. But 64% of respondents to the YouGov survey said that the merger will give News Corp and Murdoch too much power over the media. And 60% of those polled said that Murdoch already has too much influence on British politics. Just over half the respondents thought the government has not been neutral over the BSkyB deal. The poll, commissioned by New York-based online activist Avaaz, surveyed a total of 2,295 British adults. Alice Jay, campaign director of Avaaz, said: “The deal gives one man the keys to the media kingdom. Rupert Murdoch’s so-called ‘safeguards’ of BSkyB’s independence are about as reliable as a British airport in a blizzard.” News Corporation declined to comment. Nearly 370,000 people worldwide have signed Avaaz’s online petition, which describes the Murdoch media empire as having “a global record of undermining democratic government and promoting division, intolerance and war”. Almost 70,000 people have signed the UK version of the petition.
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