Britain's racy tabloids have long employed a no-holds-barred approach to journalism that crossed many ethical - and possibly legal - boundaries in a way that would be unheard of in the U.S. But the phone-hacking scandal that erupted in July 2011 led not just to the closing of the paper in question - the News of the Workld - but also threatened the vast media empire of Rupert Murdoch, the paper's owner. With each passing day fresh allegations cameto light involving abuses committed by not just the News of the World but by other Murdoch papers as well. Stay tuned.
The phone-hacking scandal is perhaps the biggest press scandal ever in Britain, and that's saying something in a country where the tabloid newspapers are notorious for their aggressive pursuit of sensational stories. It involves Rupert Murdoch's vast media empire, one of the country's raciest tabs, the slayings of three young girls and the victims of an Islamic terrorist attack.
The phone-hacking scandal has reignited a long-running debate in Britain: Should journos, as they're known across the pond, follow the lead of their American counterparts and conduct themselves as professionals who observe a code of ethical guidelines? Or should they continue to think of their work as a trade, unrestrained by moral and ethical handwringing?
There was plenty of drama Tuesday when Rupert Murdoch testified to Parliament about the phone-hacking scandal that has swept Britain, most obviously when Murdoch's wife, Wendi Deng, threw a punch at a protester who tried to splatter the media tycoon with a shaving cream pie.
Here's a news flash that's guaranteed to surprise, well, no one. Rupert Murdoch's Fox News Channel is covering the phone-hacking scandal engulfing Murdoch's media empire far less than its cable news competitors.
Sunday, July 10, 2011, was a day that would live, if not in British press history then in infamy - The News of the World, the tabloid at the center of a phone hacking scandal that had taken Britain by storm, was shutting down.
It was a bombshell development that was announced just days earlier by James Murdoch, son of media baron Rupert Murdoch and head of European operations for the paper's parent company, News International.