The headline said "National Geographic gives Fox control of media assets in $725 million deal." I stared at it unbelievingly. National Geographic, the iconic publication of my childhood, in partnership with Fox News? Oh, the sacrilege!
The first two paragraphs of the story underneath the headline told the sad story:
Ever since it was launched from the temple-like headquarters of the National Geographic Society in Washington in 1888, National Geographic magazine has illuminated the world’s hidden places and revealed its natural wonders.
On Wednesday, the iconic yellow-bordered magazine, beset by financial issues, entered its own uncharted territory. In an effort to stave off further decline, the magazine was effectively sold by its nonprofit parent organization to a for-profit venture whose principal shareholder is one of Rupert Murdoch’s global media companies.
And there you have it. "Financial issues" in this age of declining journalism has caused the National Geographic Society to essential sell its soul to what some would describe as the devil, Rupert Murdoch.
Of course, the story goes on to give the obligatory quotes from James Murdoch, Fox's chief executive, about how no changes are planned at this time. No interference in editorial policy. Now, why should we doubt that?
Ruben Bolling at the Daily Kos website has a vision of National Geographic's future.
Oh, please, National Geographic, say it isn't so!