The headlines are filled with the scandal that took place in the UK.
The The News of the World formally closed down on Sunday when News Corporation intervened and Rupert Murdoch ordered the closing of the 168 year old tabloid paper. The last paper to be made by editors of the The News of the World was entitled “Thank you & Goodbye!”. It made major headlines in the UK and in the United States where Rupert Murdoch’s media empire has been put into question. The question being whether his other media organisations not just withstanding inside the UK could be embedded with this problem and whether they have broken so-called journalist ethics.
Riddled with illegal actions such as hacking into of others phones, including those high level figures such as the British Royal family and actor Hugh Grant. The most despicable action was when they hacked into the phone of a missing 13 year old girl, Milly Dowler, who was later found murdered. – However they had deleted some of the voice-mail messages which supposedly gave hope that she was still alive and deleting the messages herself to receive the voice-mails. Which The News of the World had deleted so that the phone could receive new messages when its inbox became full. The scandal also included paying off police officers in the Metropolitan Police in London.
It is these actions which has caused the 168 year old institution to close. Though the underlying reason for its closure was because Rupert Murdoch wants to buy a giant UK subscription-based satellite TV BSkyB, for circa. $12 billion dollars. However under pressure from the UK government, they are said to delay the purchase under the clause of Rupert Murdoch having a monopoly in the media sector in the UK. In light of the recent scandal with The News of the World, which the opposition Labour Party had called into action after there were doubts the government were not going to stop the purchase. However the Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt has already forwarded the decision making to the European Commission. Though largely people want the deal blocked altogether according to a petition by Avaav which has already been signed by nearly 80,000 people just within one day.
Avaav Petition …
Let’s make sure Cameron and Hunt immediately ensure the BSkyB deal is assessed on whether Murdoch is “fit and proper” to be given half our country’s commercial media.
For the BSkyB take over to take place the government or the secretary in-charge specifically being Mr. Hunt has to make the decision whether the company (News Corp) or its directors are “fit and proper” for the undertaking of a media company.
In light of its monopoly or dominance in UK media, it has already made changes to its Sky News propositions. Withdrawing making Sky News an independent company from BSkyB based on competition grounds.
The closure of The News of the World also would have helped their bid, though the scandal has erupted fury on whether its directors are “fit and proper” when under their supervision, serious illegalities took place. Especially when Rupert Murdoch promoted Rebekah Brooks to become CEO of News Corps subsidiary UK company, News International, which owns The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sun and the former newspaper The News of the World. Rebekah Brooks was the editor for The News of the World when these hacking incidents took place. Prime Minister David Cameron also stated in a press-release that he would have accepted her resignation if he were in the shoes of Rupert Murdoch himself.
All major parties have urged News Corp to drop the bid for BSkyB after public attention focused on the companies buyout of the large subscription based satellite TV company, with the deal being worth circa. $12 billion. However the argument purported from the BBC’s Question Time from the audience was that Murdoch was increasingly tightening his grasp on the UK media and moving onto TV.
News Corp announced it’s withdrawing a $12 billion dollar bid on British Sky Broadcasting Plc. Under pressure from British politicians, calls were made to put the buyout of the popular subscription-based TV satellite company on hold. However this does not totally cancel out a buyout for the highly profitable company, which they have reserved the right to perhaps buy in the future once the controversy dies down.
News Corp also announced on their website that they would be re-hiring the “vast-majority” of workers who worked at The News of the World. Perhaps they realised they made a mistake in closing the NOTW considering the fact they didn’t get what they wanted; BSkyB plc, with 2 investigations taking place employed by the government.
It was not one, but a twin blow out for Murdoch’s media empire. Under ridicule from the Prime Minister which was followed before-hand by public support, Rebekah Brook’s resigned as chief executive of News International. It was here role as News Editor at the News of The World at the time when the hacking scandals actually took place which brought her into the lime light. – Especially when Rupert Murdoch then appointed her as the chief executive of News International.
It was not shortly after Les Hinton the CEO of Dow Jones acquired by News Corporation in 2007 resigned effective immediately from News Corp and his position at Dow Jones. Les Hinton has been working for Rupert Murdoch for over 50 years. When he first joined Murdoch’s company he was 15 delivering sandwiches to Murdoch himself. This brings a huge blow for Murdoch after the company has come under investigation in the UK and by the FBI in the US.
Murdoch also stated that a letter would go out as an advertisement to several of his news papers for Saturday’s edition in the United Kingdom. (Link to the letter, in text, by the IB Times)