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Who Is Rupert Murdoch? Rupert Murdoch Scandal Summary

Updated on February 25, 2013

Who Is Rupert Murdoch? A Summary of Rupert Murdoch’s Troubles.

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably been hearing a lot about Rupert Murdoch in the news recently. Also, if you’re like most people, you don’t really know a lot about him, other than that you’ve probably remember him as being rich and maybe that he made his money owning newspapers and the like. But what’s the short version of all the hoopla? Let’s take a look.

Who is Rupert Murdoch?

Rupert Murdoch, in 2011, is 80 years old. He is chairman an CEO of News Corporation, the world’s second largest media company, a business he founded in 1979. He began with a single newspaper. Originally formed in Australia, he has expanded the company throughout the world. He founded The Fox Network in 1986 and his assets currently include the prestigious Wall Street Journal. Rupert Murdoch is one of the most powerful and wealthy people in the world with a net worth of over $6 billion.

News International Scandal

Over the years, despite being a powerful and influential individual, Murdoch himself has managed to avoid the headlines.

His current problems stem from a now ongoing controversy involving News of the World, a British tabloid owned by News Corporation. There have been numerous allegations that employees of the tabloid routinely engage in illegally intercepting telephone calls or voicemail messages (phone hacking) without consent. In some cases, it has been proven in court that the tabloid intercepted voicemail message of the British Royal Family, as well as other public figures and the murdered British schoolgirl Milly Dowler.

Public Reaction

Following additional revelations that the hacking involved family of deceased British soldiers and the 7/7 London bombings, the general public quickly became outraged. The British Prime Minister, David Cameron quickly announced the a government inquiry would be convened. On July 15, 2011, U.S. Attorney General also opened an investigation.

Select Committee Report

The British Culture, Media and Sport Committee, in February 2010, reported on the phone hacking affair as part of a wide-ranging report into privacy and libel issues. The report cited "collective amnesia" and "deliberate obfuscation on the part of the paper. The Committee concluded: "We strongly condemn this behavior which reinforces the widely held impression that the press generally regard themselves as unaccountable and that News International in particular has sought to conceal the truth about what really occurred."

BSkyB Takeover Bid Withdrawn

This month, Rupert Murdoch announced that News Corporation was withdrawing its takeover bid of BSkyB, due to concerns over the ongoing scandal.

News of the World Closes

In July of 2011, James Murdoch (son) announced that, after 168 years in print, theNews of the Worldwould cease operations, with the loss of 200 jobs. James Murdoch announced the paper was "sullied by behavior that was wrong", saying "if recent allegations are true, it was inhuman and has no place in our company.”

Ethical Concerns

Thephone hacking scandal has given birth to questions of companies under the ownership of Rupert Murdoch. Some authorities have accused Murdoch of building the most “dishonest, unprincipled and corrupt” media empire in the history of the English-speaking world,and of “making a travesty of what journalism is supposed to be about.

Detractors say that The Times of London, once one of the most distinguished papers in the English-speaking world, has been turned into an “instrument” to aide those in power that Murdoch favorites. The New York Post and Fox News are also used as examples.

The Future

What the future for Rupert Murdoch holds is anybody’s guess. This story is far from over. We are encouraged however that people often behave in many ways that are less than desirable when they believe they are doing so anonymously. That behavior almost always changes for the better after the truth is revealed.


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      ED WOOD 4 years ago