News International phone hacking scandal
An Australian American media mogul and the Chairman and CEO of News Corporation Mr.Rupert Murdoch, owns 150 national, capital city and suburban news brands in Australia, which include mass circulation daily tabloids in Sydney (Daily Telegraph) and Melbourne (Sun Herald) and the national daily The Australian. According to the 2010 list of Forbes richest Americans, Murdoch is the 38th richest person in the US and the 117th-richest person in the world, with a net worth of $6.2 billion.
Currently murdoch is struggling to control the destiny of the company he began building six decades ago after a trusted deputy was arrested and Scotland Yard’s top official quit over ties to a suspect in the phone-hacking probe.
As allegations of phone-hacking escalated, Murdoch abandoned a 7.8 billion pound ($12.6 billion) bid for all of British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc (BSY), shut the 168-year-old tabloid on which his U.K. media business was founded and lost the support of all Britain’s main political parties.
A police enquiry revealed that the News of the World had a routine practice of intercepting mobile phone messages of celebrities, politicians and other public figures. The newspaper’s reporter, Clive Goodman, and Glenn Mulcaire, a hired investigator, were convicted and jailed for intercepting the phone messages of members of the royal family in 2006.
In 2011, The Guardian and a solicitor alleged that in 2002, when Rebekah Brooks was editor the paper had also hacked the voicemail of missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler (later found to be murdered), to access messages left by her parents. It was also alleged that messages had been deleted when the mailbox was getting full, to allow new messages to be left and illicitly listened to; this caused the missing girl’s family to think that she was still alive and monitoring her messages.
The New York Times London wrote that, if the allegations were true, “it would mean either that Ms. Brooks had no idea how the paper she edited was obtaining information about the Dowler family for its articles, or that she knew about the hacking and allowed it”. In an email to her staff Brooks said it was “inconceivable” that she had known what was happening over Milly Dowler’s voicemail
Shares of News Corporation tumbled by over 4 per cent in Australia on 18th july 2011, as investors offloaded the company’s shares amid a deepening crisis surrounding the media conglomerate.
The company took out advertisements in national U.K. newspapers this weekend to apologize for the scandal. “Apologising for our mistakes and fixing them are only the first steps,” News International said in the ads. The company vowed to cooperate with the police and compensate those affected, saying it is “committed to change.”
James Murdoch’s future as chairman of British Sky Broadcasting (BSY.L) was thrown into doubt on 18th July 2011, after minority investors called for a corporate governance health-check of its board in the wake of the News Corp phone hacking scandal
Murdoch is eager to stop the crisis from further spreading to the United States, where many of his most lucrative assets including the Fox TV network, 20th Century Fox film studio, The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post are based.
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