Sunday, February 12, 2012

News Corp. Faces Expanding Scandal As More Reporters Arrested

News Corporation's The Sun faces a similar mess that sunk News of the World. In fact, the situation is even worse. Five more reporters were arrested for improper payments to police in a widening corruption and hacking scandal:
Four senior journalists from The Sun newspaper have been balied after they were arrested in dawn raids today over allegations of inappropriate payments to police.

In another devastating blow to News International police questioned five men from the paper on suspicion of corruption, aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office and conspiracy.

The five members of Sun staff, all believed to be men aged between 45 and 68, are thought to be deputy editor of the paper Geoff Webster, chief reporter John Kay, picture editor John Edwards, deputy news editor John Sturgis and chief foreign correspondent Nick Parker.

A 39-year-old Ministry of Defence employee and the 36-year-old member of the Armed Forces have also been bailed to a date in May, Scotland Yard said.

One other journalist from the newspaper is still in custody over the probe into inappropriate payments to police and public officials.

Fears that the latest arrests could lead to News International owner Rupert Murdoch closing the title as he did with the News of the World has led to the Australian reassuring staff of his commitment to the title.

The surprise move by police which comes on a day when nearly all Sun staff are out of its offices comes just a fortnight after the paper's former managing editor and three of its most senior journalists were also held and then bailed over corruption allegations.
This is part of an ongoing pattern of business carried out by News Corporation news outlets in the United Kingdom, and the carousel of editors and reporters that has gone between the newspapers shows that the problems are widespread and aren't necessarily limited to just The Sun (and the now defunct News of the World). That's why the investigations continue and arrests continue to be made.

But the real issue is that the culture of News Corporation aided and abetted these kinds of ethical and moral choices that have led to so many arrests.

Rupert Murdoch may be claiming that he's got zero tolerance for this kind of behavior, but his bottom line approach means that as long as his papers sell and he can out-scoop the competition, he'll look the other way. Thus far, he's saying that he wont shutter The Sun, even though the pattern of behavior at the paper is akin to that of News of the World, which he did close.

Pressure is only going to increase on Murdoch to shutter the paper, and will raise the stakes on his newspaper and reporting business even further.


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