“Murdochracy” – a case in point on media ethics

News of the World, published by News International and an ancillary to the News Corp, now defunct amidst allegations of phone-hacking and corrupt practices has put an end to what Martin Bell claims as “Murdochracy”.

Rupert Murdoch known for outrightly supporting the Iraq war and admitting to using his own media companies for shaping public opinion; tarnishes the integrity of the journalistic community and the profession itself.

“An honest corporate apology must include two parts. One is an expression of regret to the victims of the corporation’s misdeeds. This, News Corp. has done. The other is an honest acknowledgment of what and who caused the wrongdoing, a taking of responsibility by those in charge. This, News Corp. hasn’t even approached, nor does it appear likely to.”

Opinion L.A. – July 19, 2011

Did the ‘media baron’ really had no clue as to what was going on? In his defense…

“Perhaps I lost sight of [the News of the World] because it was so small in the general frame of our company” was what the owner [R. Murdoch] of one of UK’s largest selling tabloid, employing almost 200 people had to say!

Journalism, however becomes a joke…

Timeline: The Fall of Journalistic Ethics

August 8, 2006:  News of the World’s royal editor Clive Goodman and private detective Glenn Mulcaire arrested over claims of intercepting messages sent to the members of the royal family

January 26, 2007: Goodman and Mulcaire plead guilty and are put in jail for four and six months respectively. Andy Coulson, the then editor resigns – claiming he knew nothing about the unethical practice.

June 15, 2010: News Corp places a bid worth £7.8 billion for over 60% of BSkyB. BSkyB rejects 700-pence-per-share offer and jacks it up to more than 800 pence.

January 21, 2011: Andy Coulson resigns over phone-hacking scandal from his position as a communications director at the Downing Street.

April 5, 2011: NoTW’s former news editor Ian Edmondson and chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck arrested over suspicion of conspiring to phone-hacking.

July 4, 2011: Reports of Mulcaire hacking into Milly Dowler, a murdered schoolgirl’s phone surface. Deleting voicemails after she went missing in 2002.

July 6, 2011: David Cameron, British Prime Minister announces a public inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal.

July 10, 2011: NoTW publishes its final edition

Murdoch flies to London to take care of matters.

July 13, 2011: News Corp withdraws its bid for BSkyB.

July 15, 2011: Head of operation News International and Editor NoTW during Dowler’s phone hacking, Rebekah Brooks resigns.

July 17, 2011: Paul Stephenson, Chief of the Metropolitan Police resigns over links to NoTW’s former editor Neil Wallis. Brook is arrested on suspicion of phone hacking and corrupt practices, later bailed.

July 18, 2011: Scotland Yard Assistant Commissioner John Yates resigns. Yates refused to reopen police investigation into the hacking scandal back in 2009. Sean Hoare, NoTW’s former reporter, the first person to publicly allege that Andy Coulson knew about phone hacking, found dead. Reasons unknown.

July 19, 2011: Rupert Murdoch, son James, and the former editor of the News of the World Rebekah Brooks appear before MPs on the phone-hacking scandal…

Would scandals such as these open more debate to the limited ethical systems implemented by the media owners and observed by the journalist community. Or many news organisations of the likes will continue to pose a direct threat to the public interest, while treading on Journalism ethics and standards in the realm of the 1st Amendment.

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    • peter baxter
    • July 22nd, 2011

    Murdock’s Eulogy by Peter Shakespeare Baxter

    Friends, Readers, countrymen, lend me your ears;
    I come to bury Murdock, not to praise him.
    The evil that men do lives after them;
    The good is oft interred with their bones;
    So let it be with Murdock.
    The noble Orwell hath told you Murdock was ambitious:
    If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
    And grievously hath Murdock answered it.
    Here, under leave of Orwell and the rest –
    For Orwell was an honourable man;
    So are were all, all honourable men –
    Come I to speak at Murdock’s inquest.
    O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
    For all men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
    For my heart is in the custard pie there with Murdock,
    And I must pause till it come back to me.
    A once noble profession graced by the likes
    Of Orwell and Greene as today become the
    Possession of a custard pie.
    A pie cooked in Murdock’s bakery.

    PS that is George Orwell or Eric Blair and Henry Graham Greene for the benefit of journalists everywhere.

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