Elisabeth Murdoch delivers free-thinking MacTaggart

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Elisabeth Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of Shine Group, used her keynote MacTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh International Television Festival to demonstrate that she is not afraid to break ranks with her family on issues of importance.

Commenting on the News of the World phone-hacking affair which engulfed her father and brother James a year ago, she said News Corp had to ask "significant and difficult questions about how some behaviour fell so far short of its values".

In particular, she targeted James’ assertion (made in his own MacTaggart three years ago) that "the only reliable, durable and perpetual guarantor of independence is profit". Her own view is that: "Profit without purpose is a recipe for disaster… people need to reject the idea money is the only effective measure of all things or that the free market is the only sorting mechanism. The absence of purpose (could be) one of the most dangerous own goals for capitalism and freedom".

Elisabeth Murdoch also distanced herself from her brother’s anti-BBC rhetoric by saying: "Let me put it on the record that I am a current supporter of the BBC's universal licence fee.”

While Murdoch made it clear that she didn’t see eye to eye with her brother, there was praise for her father, who, she said, “had the vision, the will and the sense of purpose to challenge the old world order on behalf of the people."