Sometimes we admire the rich and powerful for the willingness to say exactly what they think. Like, who’s gonna fire them? (Or, more accurately, quake in their boots and knock them for “intelligence and self-confidence,” as has been known to happen in this backwater province.)

Case in point: James (Not Rupert) Murdoch, taking the “global” media to task for cluelessness in localization and multilingualism.

In one of his first public speeches since taking the reins at... pan-Asian television business Star TV, Murdoch singled out Star TV founder... Richard Li as one of the worst offenders of “paying lip service to globalism.”

The 27-year-old, the youngest of Rupert Murdoch’s children, said so-called global media groups had not recognised the need to go local in the four dominant language groups – Mandarin, English, Spanish and Hindi – to compete in the world marketplace.

“Most media companies have failed to understand what it means to be a global company and nowhere is this more true than in Anglo and American countries that have assumed that simply broadcasting around the world, CNN-style, or exporting English-language films, is a sufficient global strategy.”

Wow. We dig this man. We are, after all, big fans of multilingual content, which is pretty hard to do properly. How reassuring to note that the failures of localization and the arrogance of English-speakers are not limited to the Internet after all.

It would be nice to see someone get all this right, wouldn’t it?

Posted on 2000-10-01