An opinion column by David McKnight, an associate professor at the Journalism and Media Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, argues that "Rupert Murdoch's critics often make the mistake of caricaturing him as just another businessman, interested more in money than ideology. ... These claims underestimate Murdoch's powerful contribution to the shaping of political ideas in Britain, the U.S.
The Livingston Group, a lobbying and PR firm, "received a healthy $300K during the third period," or third quarter of 2008, from the Council for a Democratic Iran. The website of the Virginia-based group states, "We believe there is an alternative between military confrontation with the current regime and accommodation." According to Lobbyists.info, the group previously retained the firm Cyber Security Research Consultants.
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), a UK government agency charged with deciding whether drugs should be subsidized by the British government, has been criticized by some patient groups for refusing to approve new and expensive drugs.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has retained the major public relations firm Hill & Knowlton for one year, to boost the international financial institution's "global outreach." H&K's press release quotes CEO Paul Taaffe as saying, "The IMF plays a crucial role around the world working to stabilize financial markets.
According to documents leaked to The Guardian, the British government has been actively trying to undermine the European Union's proposals to drastically reduce carbon emissions in order to combat climate change. The UK wants to be able to count more imported carbon credits in order to meet pollution reduction targets.
International Nuclear Services (INS) is looking for PR support for an unpopular issue -- transportation of nuclear waste. "INS was created out of the 'spent fuel services' business of Sellafield to provide a service to more than 20 global utility firms.