Murdoch denies phone-hacking allegations

Rupert Murdoch has dismissed allegations of phone-hacking at the News of the World.

Speaking to News Corp shareholders at the company’s AGM, he also defended a $2m donation to the Republican Party and said only poor health would force him to retire.

Murdoch insisted the 2005 arrest of Clive Goodman, NoW’s former Royal correspondent, remained the only case of the illegal practice.

“We have very, very strict rules,” he said. “There was one incident more than five years ago … the person who bought the bugged conversation was immediately fired. If anything was to come to light, and we have challenged those people who have made allegations to provide evidence … we would take immediate action.”

Murdoch said he did not regard former employees making further allegations “as an authority” and dismissed their claims.

Several  have told the New York Times, a rival to Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal, that the practice was widespread.

But Murdoch said: “I don’t take the New York Times, who are the most motivated in this, as authority.”

He also defended News Corp’s decision to donate $2m to the Republican party.

“In the case of these two donations we judged it to be in the best interests of the company,” said Murdoch. “It had nothing to do with editorial policy or journalism … or anything else. We believe it is certainly in the interests of the country, shareholders and prosperity that there is a fair amount of change in Washington.

“We consider it [donations of this nature] from time to time. I don’t believe we will be doing it again.”

Asked whether shareholders would be consulted he responded: “No. You have the right to vote us off the board if you don’t like it.”

And asked about retiring, the 80-year said: “When my health gives out I will get out of the way, not before.” (Source: MediaGuardian)




“Before we all sink into a slough of digital dystopian despair, it might be worth considering this: is this a sign of the strength, not weakness, of revelatory journalism in the digital age?”

Charlie Beckett, director of POLIS at the London School of Economics, reacts to news that the UK government forced the Guardian into destroying hard drives that contained information leaked by Edward Snowden.

(Source: POLIS)


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