Rupert Murdoch is killing journalism! This perhaps is not news depending on which paper you start your day with, or how devoted you were to a photo-free WSJ. However, there appears to be a new twist. The Guardian is reporting that Murdoch’s News Paper Groups have been settling cases out of court — to the tune of $1.6 million — that would have revealed his journos to be using “criminal methods” to get stories. What sort of criminal methods?
Murdoch journalists using private investigators who illegally hacked into the mobile phone messages of numerous public figures to gain unlawful access to confidential personal data, including tax records, social security files, bank statements and itemised phone bills. Cabinet ministers, MPs, actors and sports stars were all targets of the private investigators.
All this shady journalism, it should be noted, is taking place in England where Murdoch’s tabloids are the gold standard in tabloid journalism. It should also probably be noted that Rupe has denied being aware of any payments being made: ““If that had happened, I would know about it.” Which is not exactly the same thing as saying “this could never have happened at my papers!”
At the moment it’s not clear who these “numerous public figures” were only that a lot of people formerly in government and possibly the police department may be in trouble as well as some higher-ups in the News Corp ranks. Also not clear? Whether this sort of thing is going on Stateside. However, if it is we’d like to suggest Murdoch focus his attention on Albany, where we suspect some illegal hacking may actually be a public service these days.
Have a tip we should know? email@example.com