More trouble for the Australian-American media mughal Rupert Murdoch and his family. It is likely that Andy Coulson, a former News Of The World editor who most recently worked as the chief spokesman for British Prime Minister David Cameron’s government, would be arrested Friday on suspicion of illegally paying the police for information during his editorship of Murdoch-owned tabloid.
[UPDATE: He has been arrested. The Washington Post reports:
The former editor of the British tabloid at the heart of a growing media scandal and the journalist who used to cover the royal family were arrested Friday in connection with allegations of hacking into mobile phones and bribing police to get news stories, British media reported.
Andy Coulson was editor of the News of the World when the newspaper allegedly engaged in illegal hacking of the cellphones and voice mails of the royal family, celebrities, politicians and relatives grieving from the loss of loved ones from the London terrorist bombing in 2005.
Coulson later served as a top communications official in the government and was Prime Minister David Cameron’s spokesman at No. 10 Downing Street until he resigned from that job in January.
Coulson has denied any knowledge of the hacking, and the top executives at the parent company, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., have described the illegal snooping as the work of a rogue reporter and a private investigator.
London’s Metropolitan Police said they had a arrested a 43-year-old man “in connection with allegations of corruption and phone hacking” but could not release his name until he was formally charged. British media, citing law enforcement sources, said the man arrested was Coulson.
Clive Goodman, the former News of the World royal editor, was also reported to have been arrested on Friday over “allegations of corruption.” Goodman was jailed in 2007 after he pleaded guilty to hacking into private phone messages in connection with pursuing stories about the British monarchy.
The scandal, which is roiling London’s political and media circles, began after Goodman wrote stories in 2005 about Prince William that contained details known to very few people. The articles raised alarm bells in the royal household.
Back to the New York Times Piece linked to in the first paragraph of this post:]
(The closure of News of the World in the UK has been huge news. The Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid has been accused of hacking into the phones of citizens – from missing schoolgirls, to grieving families, celebrities, royals and politicians, in their bid for that scandalous front page. See here)
According to the NYT: “The payments were said to be not just for news tips, a standard tabloid practice despite its illegality, but also for substantial information, including confidential documents held by the police. Not only would any arrests be a blow to News International, the News Corporation’s British subsidiary, but the company also faces the awkward prospect that any current or former News of the World employee facing prison might be tempted to argue, with specific examples, that wrongdoing was widespread at the paper…
“By closing the weekly News of the World, which is 168 years old and is Britain’s largest-circulation newspaper, Mr. Murdoch seems determined to try to limit damage from the scandal and remove a possible obstacle to the takeover of British Sky Broadcasting, known as BSkyB.
“According to a person close to Mr. Murdoch, the move also gives him an excuse to do something he had planned to do anyway: turn his flagship Sun tabloid into a seven-day operation, preserving his lucrative share in the Sunday newspaper market while decontaminating the brand by removing its association with The News of the World….”
As The Economist puts it: “Lower a piece of bacon fat on a string above a box full of ferrets, and you will have some idea how the world of the British tabloid press looks today, as former colleagues, bosses and friends turn on each other with a snapping of sharp teeth and a glinting of narrow, yellow eyes.” More here…
Media insiders say Rupert Murdoch’s decision to kill News of the World and save former editor Rebekah Brooks is a strategic move to prevent heads rolling at the top of the empire. More here…
“Astonishing as it is to believe, Rupert Murdoch’s organization finally managed to commit an act of sleaze so egregious that it even offended public morality. Ironic, that…”More here…
Will Britain’s tabloid phone-hacking scandal sink Rupert Murdoch? See here…
News Corp’s Australian boss, John Hartigan, has moved to distance its operations here from the deepening scandal in Britain, saying the behaviour uncovered at the News of the World was “an affront to all of us who value the integrity and credibility of good journalism”. Read more…
But the fall of News of the World isn’t all good news. In fact, it could do a lot of damage to the tabloid’s more dignified News Corps neighbor at 3 Thomas More Square: England’s thunderer, The Times of London. The closure of Murdoch’s cash cow will make it much harder for him to prop up his legitimate outlet, a paper with fine journalism, but little money. More here…
Also be sure to read Hart Williams’ earlier column on this issue.
British Leader’s Former Aide Has Been Arrested In Rupert Murdoch Phone Hacking Scandal http://t.co/rgYtvob
Swaraaj Chauhan describes his two-decade-long stint as a full-time journalist as eventful, purposeful, and full of joy and excitement. In 1993 he could foresee a different work culture appearing on the horizon, and decided to devote full time to teaching journalism (also, partly, with a desire to give back to the community from where he had enriched himself so much.)
Alongside, he worked for about a year in 1993 for the US State Department’s SPAN magazine, a nearly five-decade-old art and culture monthly magazine promoting US-India relations. It gave him an excellent opportunity to learn about things American, plus the pleasure of playing tennis in the lavish American embassy compound in the heart of New Delhi.
In !995 he joined WWF-India as a full-time media and environment education consultant and worked there for five years travelling a great deal, including to Husum in Germany as a part of the international team to formulate WWF’s Eco-tourism policy.
He taught journalism to honors students in a college affiliated to the University of Delhi, as also at the prestigious Indian Institute of Mass Communication where he lectured on “Development Journalism” to mid-career journalists/Information officers from the SAARC, African, East European and Latin American countries, for eight years.
In 2004 the BBC World Service Trust (BBC WST) selected him as a Trainer/Mentor for India under a European Union project. In 2008/09 He completed another European Union-funded project for the BBC WST related to Disaster Management and media coverage in two eastern States in India — West Bengal and Orissa.
Last year, he spent a couple of months in Australia and enjoyed trekking, and also taught for a while at the University of South Australia.
Recently, he was appointed as a Member of the Board of Studies at Chitkara University in Chandigarh, a beautiful city in North India designed by the famous Swiss/French architect Le Corbusier. He also teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students there.
He loves trekking, especially in the hills, and never misses an opportunity to play a game of tennis. The Western and Indian classical music are always within his reach for instant relaxation.
And last, but not least, is his firm belief in the power of the positive thought to heal oneself and others.