Power Corrupts – the Murdock Touch
Journalism is intended to be driven by professional standards. In the news business, there is a business side and a journalism side. The business side is publishing and that means selling time and space to support the creation of news and journalistic products from the professional journalism side of the house.
The trouble is, there has been cross over – not just between publishing and editorial and news, but between entertainment and news.
It is all mixed up. The aggregation of news business into the hands of a few is predictably bad.
Murdoch is at least honest in that he has a conservative ax to grind, though employing dishonesty and techniques that undermine professional integrity is way out of bounds. That dishonesty has been transparent and while critics called him on it, it would be the mark of his own brand that would cripple the Murdoch Empire.
You are under arrest Mr. Murdoch.
UK police arrest woman in hacking scandal; UK media say its ex-Murdoch aide Rebekah Brooks
By Associated Press, Published: July 15 | Updated: Sunday, July 17, 9:32 AM
LONDON — Rebekah Brooks, Rupert Murdoch’s former British CEO, was arrested Sunday by British police investigating phone hacking and police bribery by the defunct tabloid News of the World.
Police said a 43-year-old woman was arrested at a London police station at noon Sunday by appointment. She is being questioned on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications — phone hacking — and on suspicion of corruption — bribing police for information.
London police do not identify suspects until they are charged. Sky News and the BBC said the suspect was Brooks, the former News of the World editor who stepped down Friday as head of Murdoch’s British newspapers.
Police have already arrested nine other people connected to Murdoch’s British media empire over allegations that the News of the World hacked into the phone voice mails of hundreds of celebrities, politicians, rival journalists and even murder victims. No one has yet been charged.
The latest arrested comes just two days before Brooks is due to answer questions from a parliamentary committee investigating the hacking. Rupert Murdoch and his son James are also due to give evidence.
The arrest throws Brooks’ appearance before parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport committee into question.
Brooks was the newspaper’s editor between 2000 and 2003, when some of the hacking took place, but has always said she did not know hacking was going on, a claim greeted with skepticism by many who worked there.
At an appearance before lawmakers in 2003, she admitted that News International had paid police for information. That admission of possible illegal activity went largely unchallenged and, at the time, little noticed.
The arrest also piles more pressure on Prime Minister David Cameron, a friend and neighbor of Brooks, who has met with her many times and invited her to stay at his official country retreat.
Cameron is already under fire for hiring Andy Coulson, who resigned as News of the World editor after two employees were jailed for corruption in 2007, as his communications chief. Coulson resigned from Downing Street in January after police reopened their hacking investigation. He was arersted last week and questioned before being released on bail.
Brooks’ arrest is another blow for Murdoch, who is struggling to tame a scandal that has already destroyed one major British tabloid, cost the jobs of two of his senior executives and sunk his dream of taking full control of a lucrative satellite broadcaster, British Sky Broadcasting.
On Sunday, Murdoch took out a second newspaper ad promising that News Corp. will make amends for the phone hacking scandal.
The ad in several U.K. Sunday newspapers, titled “Putting right what’s gone wrong,” said News Corp. would assist the British police investigations into phone hacking and police bribery. It vowed there would be “be no place to hide” for wrongdoers.
“It may take some time for us to rebuild trust and confidence, but we are determined to live up to the expectations of our readers, colleagues and partners,” the ad said.”
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