Thursday, 1 September 2011

News Corp Still Making News

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp continues to make headlines around the world, from the US to UK and Australia, for all the wrong reasons. Its newspaper The Australian has infuriated Prime Minister Julia Gillard by publishing an opinion piece wrongly linking her to a former boyfriend and the embezzlement of union funds. She is quoted in the Guardian as saying the report was "in breach of all known standards of journalism." The Australian admitted the piece was inaccurate, quickly withdrew it and and apologized "unreservedly". But Ms Gillard was not appeased and may now give her support to calls to curb News Corp's power in Australia (it owns 70% of the newspapers there) and possibly even withdraw government advertising from News Corp titles.

In the UK it was reported last week that Andy Coulson, the former News of the World editor, was still being paid by News Corp six months after he started working for Prime Minister David Cameron. He had previously denied this in front of a government Culture Committee.

And rocks are being overturned in the US to see what's under them, including re-examining a civil case in 2009 where a News Corp company, News America Marketing, settled a court case having reportedly conceded that someone unknown within the company had hacked the website of a competitor, Floorgraphics, and obtained confidential information. The case was settled by News Corp acquiring Floorgraphics for $30m.

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