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Murdoch’s speech at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit
News Corp boss tells UAE that censorship of the media is "counterproductive" in his address to the Abu Dhabi Media Summit.
March 9, 2010 7:21 by Ben Flanagan
Full text of Murdoch’s address
Thank you, Ed, for those generous words. I am grateful for the invitation to be with you today.
Each time I visit this part of the world, I experience your fabled hospitality. Making guests feel at home is a long and honored tradition in your culture – and you have happily shown that the best traditions are fully compatible with a modern skyline. Nowhere is this wisdom more clear than in your plans for Abu Dhabi 2030 – a capital city for the 21st century.
I have looked at your plan, and it is visionary. Your new capital district will be built on four guiding principles – cultural heritage, economic development, social cohesion, and the natural environment. You will have state-of-the-art transportation. Architecture that draws from the past while pointing to the future. Great new universities, medical research facilities, museums and the like. And a sense of community that will make this city not just a showcase for visitors – but a home for your people.
You have set a high bar for your ambitions. Today I hope to use this conference on the media to share my thoughts about the contributions that a thriving creative sector might make – to your society, to your economy, and to your future.
In this I am mindful of the Arab proverb: “if a wind blows, ride it.” As I speak, there is a powerful wind blowing through this region. This wind is the creative energies of your people, who are aching to make their own mark on the world around them. Without this creative spirit, the museums, universities, and other fabulous buildings you have planned will be empty shells. But ride this wind and you will raise from these desert sands something extraordinary: a capital of creativity that is modern … that is global … and that is fully Arab.
These days our homes and offices are cluttered with the latest electronic devices. It is easy to be dazzled by this new technology. But the bright and shiny wonders that technology gives us can be like the desert sun – they can blind us to what is real and valuable. Amid the digital dazzle, we risk missing the magic: the creative content that brings these devices to life.
That is the point I wish to discuss with you today. What is a Kindle or an e-reader worth without books or newspapers or magazines to read on them? What is a cell phone without the access to e-mail, the photos of your children or your favorite websites? What is the most advanced high-definition TV without the dramas and comedies and news and sport to watch on it?