Is this the beginning of the end of Rupert Murdoch's media empire?

Reply Fri 8 Jul, 2011 09:34 am
Good article from the NYT .
Territory which is very familiar to Australians ... making & breaking governments through the influence of his media outlets & gaining advantage for his enterprises through government connections.

All done in Oz before he expanded his activities to the UK & the US (he renounced his Australian citizenship for US business expansion purposes. .

British Tories Squirm as They Feel the Heat in Murdoch’s Embrace
Published: July 7, 2011/NYT

LONDON — When David Cameron became prime minister in May 2010, one of his first visitors at 10 Downing Street — within 24 hours, and entering by a back door, according to accounts in British newspapers — was Rupert

Fourteen months later, with Mr. Murdoch’s media empire in Britain reeling, Mr. Cameron may feel that his close relationship with Mr. Murdoch, which included a range of social contacts with members of the Murdoch family and the tycoon’s senior executives, has been a costly overreach.

Those concerns were intensified by the arrest on Friday of Andy Coulson, the former editor of The News of the World and, until he resigned in January this year, Mr. Cameron’s media chief at Downing Street.

Mr. Cameron hired Mr. Coulson in 2007 after scandals had rocked the newspaper. And he repeatedly defended him even as signs accumulated that Mr. Coulson had greater awareness of the newspaper’s phone-hacking practices than he had acknowledged.

Some of Mr. Cameron’s political opponents have cast the embrace of Mr. Murdoch as a mistake that could combine with other recent miscues by the Cameron government to seriously weaken the prime minister’s party, the Conservatives. But those critics, including the leader of the opposition Labour Party, Ed Miliband, have to cope with the awkward fact that the Labour Party was just as closely linked with Mr. Murdoch, if not more so, during the 13 years that Britain was led by Mr. Cameron’s predecessors as prime minister, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

Since he began building his media empire in Britain 40 years ago, Mr. Murdoch, who was born in Australia, has been a figure of towering political importance, credited by many British politicians with the power to make and unmake governments as well as influence government policies that affect the fortunes of his newspaper and television interests.

Mr. Murdoch has used his clout to try to curb the powers of media regulatory bodies and expand his control of the dominant pay-television network British Sky Broadcasting, which the British government is still weighing. But he has also voiced strong opinions on matters of wider significance, like British politicians’ flirtation with the idea of abandoning the pound for the euro, an idea Mr. Murdoch vehemently opposed.

His decision to switch his British newspapers’ support to Mr. Cameron and the Conservatives last year after backing Labour in three elections, many political analysts say, made a crucial difference in returning the Conservatives to power.

Similarly, when he dumped the Conservatives in favor of Labour in 1997, many say, he helped create the wave that kept Mr. Blair in office for the next decade. ...<cont>

Reply Fri 8 Jul, 2011 09:58 am
Murdoch was the first person Tony Blair called after deciding to invade Iraq.
0 Replies
Reply Fri 8 Jul, 2011 12:10 pm
Murdoch just sold MySpace for 35 million dollars- paid 350 million for it a few years back. So you are right, compared to Time-Warner, he's the lesser fool. Both cases I think are part of the slow process of the eclipse of these huge media presences.
And by the way, is it not likely he was himself aware of what was going on in Britain? I think so.
His kind of media may survive, but I think it's the beginning of the end for Rupert.
Reply Fri 8 Jul, 2011 12:35 pm
paid 350 million for it a few years back
It was $580 million. Murdock lost interest after he got the chance to get the Wall Street Journal.
0 Replies
Reply Fri 8 Jul, 2011 06:00 pm
Questions & Answers on the News of the World scandal, published by the BBC News.

Useful for anyone just catching up with the story now.
It also cleared up a few of my earlier misconceptions.:

Q&A :

As newspaper bosses decide to close the News of the World in the midst of a storm over phone hacking, what are the key questions it poses?

What has News International announced?

Sunday, 10 July, will be the last issue of the News of the World (NoW).

It will contain no commercial adverts. Any advertising space will be donated to charities and all of the edition's revenue will go to good causes.

How has the government reacted?

The prime minister's office said it had no role or involvement in the decision to close the paper, and no pressure was applied to News International or its chairman James Murdoch.

The PM announced two inquiries - a judge-led one into phone-hacking allegations to start once the police investigation is over, and another looking at newspaper ethics.

The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) will be scrapped.

What is the latest on the police investigation?

Two arrests have been made. Andy Coulson, a former NoW editor and ex-director of communications for David Cameron, was arrested on 8 July by police investigating phone hacking and corruption allegations. He has previously denied any knowledge of phone hacking.

Ex-NoW royal editor Clive Goodman, jailed in 2007 for phone hacking, was arrested over corruption claims.

Meanwhile, police have identified 4,000 possible targets and are planning to contact all of them.

How did the scandal arise?

The NoW has been illicitly hacking into the voicemail messages of prominent people to find stories.

It admitted intercepting voicemails in April after years of rumours that the practice was widespread and amid intense pressure from those who believed they had been victims.

So far, one NoW journalist and a private investigator have been jailed for hacking.

What is the News of the World?

A national tabloid newspaper published in the UK, famed for celebrity scoops. Its fondness for sex scandals gained it the nickname "News of the Screws".

Its sales average 2,812,005 copies per week.

The NoW is published by News Group Newspapers, part of News International, which is a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.

Who is alleged to have been hacked?

Police have a list of 4,000 possible targets. Among them are royal aides, celebrities, sport stars, politicians and victims of crime.

They include actor Hugh Grant, publicist Max Clifford, actresses Sienna Miller and Gwyneth Paltrow, former MP George Galloway, Lord Prescott, London Mayor Boris Johnson, football pundit Andy Gray and ex-footballer Paul Gascoigne.

Murdered teenager Milly Dowler and the parents of murdered Soham schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman were allegedly targeted. Relatives of dead UK soldiers may also have had their phones hacked.
Milly Dowler Claims that Milly Dowler's phone was hacked were described as "truly dreadful" by the prime minister

How did the NoW hack phones?

Mobile phones used to come with a default four-digit Pin such as 1234, 0000 or 3333. Customers were expected to change their Pin, but very few did.

Tabloid journalists and private investigators could simply ring the number and if the caller didn't answer, enter the default Pin and access the person's messages.

Another ruse was to change the voicemail Pin from the default to prevent other journalists having access to it.

Why did the NoW hack phones?

For exclusive stories.

Competition is fierce among the national press and, under intense pressure, reporters can push at legal boundaries.

How do we know who was being hacked?

The NoW's royal editor Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire were jailed for hacking in January 2007 after it was found they targeted Prince William's aides. It stemmed from a NoW story published in November 2005 about the prince suffering a knee injury.

Detectives recovered files from Mulcaire's home which referred to a long list of public figures and celebrities.

In 2009, the Guardian newspaper claimed NoW journalists had hacked the phones of up to 3,000 celebrities, politicians and sports stars. Police confirmed suspected victims had been identified among royals, the government, police and the military. Police also released some of the names. Other people claiming to have had their phones hacked have spoken to the media.
Actress Sienna Miller Sienna Miller is one of the hacking victims to have taken legal action

Why does phone hacking matter?

It is against the law. If NoW bosses authorised phone hacking then they could face charges.

But the scandal also goes to the very heart of the relationship between the government and police and the UK media.

It raises wider questions of ethics in the press and how the police have investigated hacking.

Police are also facing questions over the relationship between its officers and the papers. News International uncovered e-mails apparently indicating tens of thousands of pounds were paid over the years to police. Celebrities and politicians whose phones may have been hacked have long criticised police for failing to properly investigate and for being too close to the media.

The relationship between politicians and Rupert Murdoch's newspaper empire is also under close scrutiny. Media commentators have argued that for the past two decades no politician with any prospect of power has dared to attack his empire.

The appointment of Andy Coulson, the editor of the NoW at the time Goodman and Mulcaire were operating illegally, as David Cameron's director of communications has also thrown into question the prime minister's judgement.

And the phone hacking scandal could also dent Rupert Murdoch's ambitions to take control of BSkyB.

What are the victims doing about it?

Several cases have been settled in the courts. Sienna Miller won £100,000 damages and Andy Gray received £20,000. Max Clifford brought a private case and received a reported settlement of £700,000.

Other victims are awaiting the outcome of police investigations or have already launched legal action.
Lord Prescott Former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescott has said he believes he was targeted by hackers

What is the history to the police investigation?

The Metropolitan Police has faced criticism for their initial inquiry in 2006 into phone hacking at the paper. It saw Goodman and Mulcaire jailed but did not implicate anyone else.

In 2009 the Met chose not to relaunch their investigation despite claims in the Guardian that the NoW was involved in widespread phone hacking of several thousand celebrities, sports stars and politicians.

But, in January 2011, amid continuing pressure, the Met reopened the investigation and launched Operation Weeting to look at "significant new information". On the same day the NoW sacked Ian Edmondson, one of its assistant editors, when four e-mails relating to phone hacking were allegedly found on the newspaper's systems.

Those arrested and bailed by police as part of the new investigation included Mr Edmondson, NoW chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck, senior NoW journalist James Weatherup, freelance journalist Terenia Taras and Press Association journalist Laura Elston.

In May, former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescott, Labour MP Chris Bryant, ex-Scotland Yard commander Brian Paddick and journalist Brendan Montague won a High Court bid for a judicial review into the police inquiry.

How is hacking linked to alleged payments to police?

Commentators and victims accused the police of a lack of will to investigate hacking because officers were too close to the media.

At the beginning of July, News International handed over e-mails which were said to show payments were made to police in return for information, and they were alleged to have been authorised by Mr Coulson.

Met Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson said a small number of officers were alleged to have taken illegal payments, and if true, they would face a criminal court.

Much earlier, in 2003, Rebekah Brooks, News International's chief executive, admitted to a Commons committee that journalists had paid police for information in the past. But she later said she had no knowledge of "any specific cases".

What has the government done?

The prime minister promised an inquiry into phone hacking after revelations in July that bereaved families may have been targeted. The government, and the previous Labour administration, were accused of being slow to react.

After the Guardian's claims in 2009, the cross-party House of Commons Culture, Media and Sports Committee interviewed News International bosses, including Mr Coulson, over the newspaper's accusations..

In its report in February 2010, the committee accused the NoW of "collective amnesia". MPs found no evidence that Mr Coulson had either approved of phone hacking by his reporters or was aware that phones were being hacked but said it was "inconceivable" that no-one else knew it was going on.

How did News International initially respond?

News International initially denied phone hacking was widespread and put Goodman's conviction down to the work of one "rogue reporter". Editor Andy Coulson resigned but claimed no knowledge of hacking.

It was only after intense pressure from victims that it admitted, in April this year, that hacking was used. On 10 April an official apology was made on the NoW website and on page two of the newspaper for intercepting voicemails between 2004 and 2006. It said its past behaviour was a "matter of genuine regret".

News International instructed lawyers to set up a compensation fund of £20m to deal with "justifiable claims". It has made several payouts.

The company said it would be "horrified" if claims murder victims or bereaved soldiers' families were targeted are true.

News International has welcomed the prime minister's pledge for a wide-ranging inquiry into standards in the media. It also pledged to co-operate with the police inquiry.

What about Andy Coulson?

Andy Coulson Andy Coulson blamed coverage of the phone-hacking story for his resignation

Mr Coulson was editor when Goodman and Mulcaire were convicted. He resigned, saying he took responsibility for something that had happened on his watch.

But in November 2010 detectives interviewed Mr Coulson as a witness - and two months later he quit his post at Downing Street, citing coverage of the scandal.

In July, he was arrested by appointment at a south London police station and police were searching his south London home.

These events led to questions about the judgement of David Cameron. Asked if he had "screwed up" on the decision to employ Mr Coulson, Mr Cameron said: "People will decide."

What about BSkyB?

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation wants to take over broadcaster BSkyB.

News Corp already owns 39% of BSkyB, but last year signalled its intent to to take over the remainder of the company.

News Corp's bid had faced opposition from rivals in the media industry and some politicians, who objected on the grounds that it would own too much of the British media if the deal went through.

That opposition has increased as the phone-hacking scandal escalates, with critics claiming that it shows that News Corp is not "fit and proper" to own the broadcaster, as required by the media regulator Ofcom.

It looks likely that Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt will delay his decision on whether to allow News Corp's bid after receiving 100,000 submissions on the issue.

Where does all this leave News International?

News International is co-operating with a police inquiry into hacking and is conducting its own investigation into the claims.

Calls have been made for Rebekah Brooks, editor of the News of the World at the time of the alleged hacking of Milly Dowler's phone, to resign from her current job as chief executive of News International.

In the lead up to the NoW closure announcement, a string of businesses suspended or cancelled advertising with the paper. Among them were Co-operative Group, Lloyds, Halifax, Vauxhall, Virgin Holidays, Sainsbury's, O2, carmaker Ford and the government. The Royal British Legion also cut its ties with the paper as its campaigning partner and put its advertising with News International under review.

Shares in News Corporation have also taken a hit.

0 Replies
Reply Fri 8 Jul, 2011 11:14 pm
Rather amused to see one of the tags for this thread: Obama Epic Failure

Obama may not be perfect in every respect, but to hold him responsible for the News of The World scandal, is well ..... stretching things a bit, don't you think? Smile Wink
0 Replies
Reply Fri 8 Jul, 2011 11:25 pm
Police suspect cover-up in News hacking scandal

July 9, 2011 - 2:33PM

British police are investigating evidence that an executive at Rupert Murdoch's News International corporation may have deleted millions of emails from an internal archive in an apparent attempt to obstruct Scotland Yard's inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal that has hit the business and brought about the closure of the News of the World.

The archive is believed to have reached back to January 2005, revealing daily contact between News of the World editors, reporters and outsiders, including private investigators, the Guardian has reported.

The messages are potentially highly valuable both for the police and for the numerous public figures who are suing News International.

According to legal sources close to the police inquiry, a senior executive is believed to have deleted "massive quantities" of the archive on two occasions, leaving only a fraction to be disclosed.

One of the alleged deletions is said to have been made at the end of January, just as Scotland Yard was launching Operation Weeting, its new inquiry into the affair.

The allegation directly contradicts News International claims that it is co-operating fully with police. ......

Reply Sat 9 Jul, 2011 08:06 am
That's on the front page of the Guardian today. Basically The Guardian has been the one paper that's stuck at this story through thick and thin, and is the reason we're talking about this now. What is really disgusting is that the now discredited Press Complaints Commission accused The Guardian of misleading parliament when they first brought it up.
Reply Sat 9 Jul, 2011 08:14 am
But isn't the Press Complaints Commission about to be scrapped & replaced by another body?
What's going on here?

Reply Sat 9 Jul, 2011 10:10 am
Yes it is, it's been totally discredited. The PCC was an attempt to self regulate and was never any good. That in itself shows the power of the tabloid press. According to todays Guardian NI has told a number of lies.
1 Emails etc more than 6 months old could not be accessed
2 Any relevant emails were lost en route to Mumbai.

These lies were told by NI solicitor Julian Pike under oath. He later apologised to the court and claimed he'd been misled. The only reason that this has come to light is because a data company, Essential Computing, has been cooperating with the police.
Reply Sat 9 Jul, 2011 05:18 pm
Good grief. Lies, cover-ups & corruption all over the place!

(for those not in the UK who may be wondering , NI = News International = Rupert Murdoch)

0 Replies
Reply Sat 9 Jul, 2011 05:33 pm
Staff put News of the World to bed for good
Updated 1 hour 29 minutes ago

Final farewell: News of the World editor Colin Myler shows off the last edition. (AFP : Carl Court )

Rupert Murdoch was set to fly to London to tackle a scandal engulfing his media empire while journalists prepared the last edition of the best-selling Sunday paper they say he has sacrificed to protect plans to expand his television business.

Mr Murdoch's News of the World will end its 168-year history with the headline "Thank You and Goodbye" in its final edition on Sunday.

The words were emblazoned on a montage of some of the tabloid's most famous front pages over the years, with the words: "After 168 years, we finally say a sad but very proud farewell to our 7.5 million loyal readers", underlining the sense of pride among its staff who must now look for new jobs. ...............................

PM under pressure

Meanwhile, British prime minister David Cameron is under pressure to speed up an inquiry into the allegations of widespread voicemail-hacking, which could jeopardise News Corp's plan to take over the British broadcaster BSkyB.

The scandal has also raised questions about relations between politicians, including Mr Cameron, and powerful media owners such as Mr Murdoch, 80

Alan Rusbridger, editor of the left-leaning Guardian newspaper, which has led the way in uncovering the scandal, said in a video on the Guardian's web page:

"We've had both the prime minister and the leader of the opposition making the kind of statements that a week ago would have seemed suicidal for politicians, essentially conceding they had turned a blind eye to the abuse of press power because they wanted to keep in with Rupert Murdoch."

Meanwhile, British prime minister David Cameron is under pressure to speed up an inquiry into the allegations of widespread voicemail-hacking, which could jeopardise News Corp's plan to take over the British broadcaster BSkyB.

The scandal has also raised questions about relations between politicians, including Mr Cameron, and powerful media owners such as Mr Murdoch, 80. ................................

News International chief Rebekah Brooks, 43, indicated that more revelations may emerge in comments to News of the World staff on Friday, a day after telling them the 168-year-old newspaper had become "toxic" and would be shut.

"Eventually it will come out why things went wrong and who is responsible. That will be another very difficult moment in this company's history," Ms Brooks said on Friday, according to a recording carried by Sky News.

Mr Murdoch has brushed off calls for Ms Brooks to resign due to her editorship of News of the World at a time when many of the alleged hacking incidents were taking place. .......... <cont>

Reply Sat 9 Jul, 2011 06:06 pm
What really sickens me is everyone saying how NOtW was responsible for some great scoops, and campaigns but lost it's way. No, it was a filthy rag, and I'm not sorry to see it go. It will be replaced by a Sunday version of the Sun within a few weeks NOtW in all but name.

Ed Milliband the Labour leader has forced a vote in the commons to delay a decision on BSKYB until after the police enquiry. It will be interesting to see who dares vote against it.
Reply Sat 9 Jul, 2011 06:11 pm

Is this the beginning of the end of Barry 'he's kind of a dick' Obama's presidential rule?
Reply Sat 9 Jul, 2011 06:19 pm
Obama is 10 times the man that Dubya ever was. This was a man that said his favourite book was The Very Hungry Caterpillar, a book written when he was 30 years old. A man who crashed into a tree drunk out of his mind, and a man who's sheer incompetance allowed 9/11 to happen.
Reply Sat 9 Jul, 2011 06:30 pm

No he isn't, Obama is a hack, an empty suit, a failed experiment and his short time in the White House
will go down in history as one of, if not THE WORST PRESIDENCIES in American history.
0 Replies
Reply Sat 9 Jul, 2011 06:40 pm
izzythepush wrote:

What really sickens me is everyone saying how NOtW was responsible for some great scoops, and campaigns but lost it's way. No, it was a filthy rag, and I'm not sorry to see it go. It will be replaced by a Sunday version of the Sun within a few weeks NOtW in all but name.

Ed Milliband the Labour leader has forced a vote in the commons to delay a decision on BSKYB until after the police enquiry. It will be interesting to see who dares vote against it.

Will the other paper be any better, do you think?

I suspect that sort of tabloid in general of such scummery....though hopefully they'll let up for a bit out of fear.

I do hope it robs the Murdoch empire of the tv rights though.

0 Replies
Reply Sat 9 Jul, 2011 06:44 pm
What really sickens me is everyone saying how NOtW was responsible for some great scoops, and campaigns but lost it's way. No, it was a filthy rag, and I'm not sorry to see it go. It will be replaced by a Sunday version of the Sun within a few weeks NOtW in all but name.

Yes, that's pretty amazing. NOTW was nothing more than gutter press, but I do have some sympathy for the lowly workers losing their jobs while the bigwigs are (apparently) getting off scot-free.
But ... those lowly journalists, etc, produced some extremely distasteful & toxic rubbish in the process of "just following orders", I've gotta say.

I understand, though I could be wrong about this, that the NOTW was a respected daily newspaper, with something like a 120 year history, before Murdoch took it over & oversaw it's transition into the worst kind of tabloid imaginable.

The Sunday Sun won't be published for 2 or 3 months will it? Or that's what I've read. It will be interesting to see whether the revulsion to this scandal will have subsided by then & it will be business as usual for Murdoch.

Ed Milliband the Labour leader has forced a vote in the commons to delay a decision on BSKYB until after the police enquiry. It will be interesting to see who dares vote against it.

Who knows, izzy, maybe there'll be a return to ethics in journalism & politics, as a result of what's happening now, by the time the vote is taken?
Well I can dream, can't i? Wink
0 Replies
Reply Sat 9 Jul, 2011 06:50 pm
H2O Man, you seem to be a bit confused.
This is not a thread about Obama, it's a thread about ethics (or lack of) in journalism & the media.
I'm rather confused about why, exactly, you're posting your stock anti-Obama slogans here. Confused
So far, as far as I can see, Obama hasn't been involved in this issue at all.
0 Replies
Reply Sat 9 Jul, 2011 07:10 pm
Two detailed & very interesting articles published in today's New Statesman:

The Sun King’s long goodbye
Peter Wilby/New Statesman
Published 10 February 2011

Rupert Murdoch is the last great press baron, with an irrational attachment to print. But is his love affair with his tabloids over?

The Sun King himself, Rupert Murdoch. Photo: Getty Images.Photograph: Getty Images.

Once more, Rupert Murdoch is seen in the canteen at Wapping, east London, headquarters of his British newspapers, and heard at editorial conferences offering his views on the issues of the day. Over the past three years, Murdoch had become a remote and almost irrelevant personage, only occasionally seen in London.

He was once a presence feared by his executives even when he was absent - in Murdoch's News Corporation, wrote the former Sunday Times editor Andrew Neil, "you are not a director or a manager or an editor: you are a courtier". Then it seemed he had taken the role of a constitutional monarch, rather than an active ruler. East of New York, authority had been delegated to his son James Murdoch, who was made chairman and chief executive of News Corp Europe and Asia in 2007. .........

..........Perhaps worst of all (for Murdoch), the fallout from the affair threatens the biggest business deal in News Corp's history: the £7.8bn bid to take full control of BSkyB. Given that News Corp already controls nearly 40 per cent of the company and as the Murdochs had swung their newspapers behind the Conservatives in the 2010 election campaign, the takeover ought to have been straightforward.

David Cameron would surely, it was said, do everything possible to stop his ministers referring the bid to the Competition Commission, just as Margaret Thatcher, also brought to power with help from Murdoch's papers, allowed him to circumvent regulatory approval for his purchase of the Times and Sunday Times 30 years ago. That is how things have always worked for Murdoch, in the US and his native Australia, as well as in Britain. If he delivered for those in office, they would deliver for him.

But the phone-hacking scandal has gained such political traction that it is increasingly difficult to see how a referral can be avoided. Murdoch - again, one may assume the father not the son has been at work - has at least got a breathing space, as Jeremy Hunt, the Culture and Media Secretary, has delayed a decision, giving the company time to frame "undertakings". But even if the takeover then gets the nod, it is likely to cost considerably more than £7.8bn to buy out the BSkyB shareholders, because the value of the company's shares - held by Goldman Sachs, Invesco and the Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal's Kingdom Holdings, among others - has already risen more than 25 per cent since the initial bid. .....<cont>

0 Replies

Related Topics

Copyright © 2023 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 09/25/2023 at 04:20:54