Saturday, October 19, 2013

News Corp.'s CEO Reportedly Tried To Suppress WSJ Coverage Of Company's Phone Hacking Scandal

October 18, 2013

Before he was promoted to his current role as chief executive officer of News Corp., Robert Thomson used his position at The Wall Street Journal to hobble the paper's reporting of the parent company's phone hacking scandal, according to a new book.

According to a report in Capital New York, Murdoch's World, the forthcoming book on Rubert Murdoch's empire by NPR media reporter David Folkenflik, alleges that as the phone-hacking story broke in the summer of 2011, Thomson, then the Journal managing editor, "tried to prevent the publication" of a "damaging" article on the scandal.

Thomson was later promoted to CEO of News Corp.


Folkenflik writes that "Thomson tried to kill the story several different times," and that "several reporters and editors" believed he was "intentionally trying to set impossible standards so the story would not see the light of day."

According to Capital New York, the story "was eventually published on August 20, 2011, but the revelations about the altered News of the World article were buried in paragraph nine."

Previous reports have described Thomson as "one of Rupert Murdoch's closest confidants and, some say, best friend."

The News Corp. phone hacking scandal, the fallout of which continues to this day, involves a pattern of allegations of hundreds of instances of phone hacking, police bribery, and other crimes by reporters at News of the World and other London tabloids owned by the company.


The Journal was not the only U.S.-based Murdoch property to offer controversial coverage of the story.Media Matters has documented that Fox News was late to the phone hacking story and devoted far less time to it than other cable news networks. When Fox finally did cover the story the network did its best to do damage control for its parent company's behavior.


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