Browse > Home /

Chris Bryant apologises for Murdoch-Cameron meetings claim

May 10th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism

Labour MP Chris Bryant has apologised for falsely claiming in parliament that prime minister David Cameron held five secret meetings with Rupert Murdoch following the 2010 general election, that had not been declared.

Bryant, who is a “core participant” in the Leveson inquiry, told the Commons yesterday that he had “no intention” of misleading MPs. He has also apologised to Lord Justice Leveson.

He said:

On 25 April, I told the house that the Leveson inquiry had published certain information regarding meetings that had been held between Rupert Murdoch and the prime minister.

I believed at the time that that was the case, but it has subsequently turned out not to be true.

I have, of course, apologised to Lord Justice Leveson, but I thought I should take this opportunity to apologise to the house as well. I hope the apology will be accepted. I had no intention of misleading the house; that was purely inadvertent.

Tags: , , ,

Similar posts:

Rupert Murdoch’s first day at #Leveson in his own words

April 25th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism, Newspapers, Politics

Rupert Murdoch’s first day of evidence to the Leveson inquiry covered a wide range of subjects, including his personal and professional interests, his thoughts on politicians and issues of newspaper ethics.

On newspaper ethics:

All of us regret that some of our colleagues fell far short of what is expected of them. I feel great personal regret that we did not respond more quickly or more effectively.

There have been abuses shown. I would say there are many other abuses but we can all go into that in time.

I don’t believe in using hacking. I don’t believe in using private detectives – it’s a lazy way of reporters not doing their job.

Reference to the infamous “It Woz the Sun Wot Won It” front page after the 92 election:

It was tasteless and wrong for us. We don’t have that sort of power.

Response to question on attacks made by the Sun on Neil Kinnock:

It was fair to attack his policies and even sometimes the way he expressed himself. I thought the Sun’s front page on the eve of the election was absolutely brilliant. We would have supported the Labour party if it had a different policy.

On his personal motivations:

I enjoy meeting our leaders, some impress me more than others and I meet them around the world. I could tell you one or two who have particularly impressed me.

If any politician wanted my opinion on major matters they only had to read editorials in the Sun.

It’s a myth that I used the supposed political power of the Sun to get preferable treatment.

If I had been interested in pure business I would have supported the Tory party in every election. They were always more pro-business.

On his relationship with politicians:

I’ve explained that politicians go out of their way to impress the people in the press. I think it’s part of the democratic process, all politicians of all sides like to have their views known by editors in the hopes their views will be put across and they will impress people. That’s the game.

On Thatcher:

I became [a great admirer] after she was elected and I remain a great admirer

On Gordon Brown:

He later, when the hacking scandal broke, made a totally outrageous statement that he had to know was wrong and he called us a criminal organisation, because he said we had hacked into his personal medical records, when he knew very well how the Sun had found out about his son, which was very sad.

On Alex Salmond:

I don’t know much about the SNP, I just find him an attractive person.

He’s an amusing guy and I enjoy his company; I enjoy listening to him.

On the BBC:

It’s a waste of time to speak to politicians about the BBC.

Prime ministers all hated the BBC and all gave it everything it wanted.

On The Hitler Diaries:

When the editor told me very excitedly that they’d bought these British rights to documents from a very reputable German publisher, he got [historian Hugh Trevor-Roper - Lord Dacre] to go to Switzerland to examine those diaries and after some hours with them he declared he thought they were genuine.

Very close to publication, people were debating it and Lord Dacre did show doubts. The majority of us thought we should go ahead. I take full responsibility for it – it was a major mistake I made and one I’ll have to live with for the rest of my life.

For more coverage, read Journalism.co.uk’s liveblog of today’s proceedings and articles on Murdoch’s regret over phone-hacking and meetings with Thatcher about The Times.

Tags: , , , , ,

Similar posts:

The top 10 most-read stories on Journalism.co.uk, 11-17 February

February 17th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism

1. Seven ways the New York Times is using social media for deeper engagement
2. Times web app brings tablet newspaper experience to browser
3. BBC World Service to broadcast morning news conference
4. Thurlbeck: Murdoch would ditch the Sun
5. Sun condemns tabloid witch hunt as more journalists arrested
6. Murdoch: Sun on Sunday will launch ‘very soon’
7. Tommy Sheridan back in court over NoW damages battle
8. BBC World News apologises for programme funding breaches
9. Times digital subscribers continue to rise
10. App of the week: Banjo for finding the location of breaking news

Tags: , , ,

Similar posts:

Note to staff from News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch in full

February 17th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Business, Journalism, Newspapers

The note from News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch to staff, which announces the due launch of the Sun on Sunday and the lifting of suspensions, in full:

Dear colleagues:

I’ve worked alongside you for 43 years to build The Sun into one of the world’s finest papers. It is a part of me and is one of our proudest achievements.  The Sun occupies a unique and important position within News Corporation.

I have immense respect for our heritage, your exceptional journalism and, above all, you, the talented women and men who work tirelessly every day to ensure our readers have access to such a trusted news source. I believe this newsroom is full of great journalists and I remain grateful for your superb work and for the stories you uncover to inform and protect the public. None more so than over the last three weeks.

My continuing respect makes this situation a source of great pain for me, as I know it is for each of you.

We will obey the law.  Illegal activities simply cannot and will not be tolerated – at any of our publications. Our Board of Directors, our management team and I take these issues very seriously.

Our independently chaired Management & Standards Committee, which operates outside of News International, has been instructed to cooperate with the police. We will turn over every piece of evidence we find — not just because we are obligated to but because it is the right thing to do.

We are doing everything we can to assist those who were arrested — all suspensions are hereby lifted until or whether charged and they are welcome to return to work. News Corporation will cover their legal expenses.  Everyone is innocent unless proven otherwise.

I made a commitment last summer that I would do everything I could to get to the bottom of our problems and make this Company an example to Fleet Street of ethical journalism. We will continue to ensure that all appropriate steps are taken to protect legitimate journalistic privilege and sources, which I know are essential for all of you to do your jobs. But we cannot protect people who have paid public officials.

I am confident we can live by these commitments and still produce great journalism.

We will build on The Sun’s proud heritage by launching The Sun on Sunday very soon. Our duty is to expand one of the world’s most widely read newspapers and reach even more people than ever before.

Having a winning paper is the best answer to our critics.

I am even more determined to see The Sun continue to fight for its readers and its beliefs. I am staying with you all, in London, for the next several weeks to give you my unwavering support.

I am confident we will get through this together and emerge stronger.

Thank you,

Rupert Murdoch

Tags: , , , , ,

Similar posts:

Sun associate editor: ‘There are people who will stop at nothing to destroy News International’

February 13th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism, Newspapers

The Sun’s associate editor, Trevor Kavanagh, has spoken further about the “unease” at the Sun following the arrest of five senior journalists at the weekend – and he said he would be “delighted” to talk to Rupert Murdoch about the issue when he visits this week.

Speaking on Radio 4’s The World at One, Kavanagh said there was “no justification” for calling for the paper to be closed – and he reiterated that no one had been charged. He said:

There are people who will stop at nothing to destroy News International. The News of the World has already closed and they will not be satisfied until the Sun is closed too. That is not going to happen.

There is no justification on the base of what you and I know so far. I think it would be a catastrophe for the British media, the newspaper world and even possibly the BBC if action which at this stage suggests no actual guilt should be regarded as grounds for closing newspapers.

Asked if there was unease at the Sun with the way News International’s independent committee had handled the affair, Kavanagh replied:

I think it’s fair to say that there is unease about the way that some of the best journalists in Fleet Street have ended up being arrested on evidence that the MSC has handed to the police. I think there is unease on that.

And asked if he would discuss the issue with Rupert Murdoch when he visits later this week, Kavanagh replied:

If he wants me to talk to him about it, I would be delighted.

Tags: , , , , ,

Similar posts:

2012 – a year of irony for the media industry?

December 29th, 2011 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Comment, Funny, Journalism

By Matt Buck, currently engaged as engraver to @tobiasgrubbe

If…

1. Rupert Murdoch revives the News of the World, but online-only.

2. Nick Davies loses his job at the Guardian, but joins the revived News of the World as part of its investigative team.

3. The Guardian poaches the “fake sheikh” Mazher Mahmood from the Sunday Times.

4. A trend develops for floundering local newspapers to be bought out by local entrepreneurs, returning control and vested interest to their communities.

5. The Leveson inquiry into the culture, practice and ethics of the UK press concludes nothing needs to be done about unethical and/or illegal media practices, as they are redundant because everyone is publicly revealing everything about themselves on social media sites like Facebook anyway.

6. Journalists are officially declared to be bloggers, thereby ending a perennial (and very tedious) debate.

7. The Guardian launches a paywall.

8. Richard Desmond, founder of Northern & Shell and owner of Express Newspapers is knighted in the New Year Honour list and becomes chair of the Press Complaints Commission (PCC).

9. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and is appointed National Security Adviser to the Obama administration.

10. Facebook buys the Daily Mail, as part of a number of strategic acquisitions of ‘accordant’ news outlets throughout the world.

Thanks to Matt Buck for permission to use his excellent cartoon.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

Bloomberg: News Corp’s The Daily averaging 120,000 readers a week

September 29th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Newspapers, Online Journalism

Bloomberg reported late on Wednesday (28 September) that News Corporation’s iPad-only newspaper the Daily has been averaging around 120,000 readers a week, said to be “less than a quarter of the number the company said it needs to make money”.

The figures came from advertising executive working with the publication.

News Corp., whose Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch personally introduced the publication about eight months ago, may have even fewer paying subscribers since people can read the Daily free for two weeks. The 120,000 figure is for so-called unique weekly visitors, which includes people who pay and those who don’t, said John Nitti, executive vice president of Publicis Groupe SA (PUB)’s media-buying division Zenith Optimedia.

Bloomberg adds that Murdoch had said in February the publication, which was launched in February, would need 500,000 subscribers “to break even”.

Read the Bloomberg report here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

Telegraph: James and Rupert Murdoch to be questioned under oath

August 30th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Legal

The Telegraph reported yesterday that both James and Rupert Murdoch are to be questioned under oath in the High Court as part of the Lord Leveson inquiry into phone hacking.

According to the paper’s report Lord Leveson is also “keen” for the inquiry to be broadcast live. A Cabinet Office spokesman declined to comment on whether the Murdochs will be questioned, but told Journalism.co.uk live coverage of the inquiry is being looked into.  The closing date for submissions to the inquiry is tomorrow, with reportedly “dozens of letters” already having been sent to potential witnesses to ask for their input.

The Murdochs, as well as Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks, both former editors of the News of the World, are likely to be called.

David Cameron and other senior politicians are also likely to be questioned over their links to News International, the parent company of the News of the World.

Today Reuters also reported that lawyers for News International are carrying out “a broad inquiry into reporting practices at all of the company’s UK newspapers”.

Citing sources who have been briefed about the inquiry Reuters reports that lawyers for law firm Linklaters will be “looking for anything that US government investigators might be able to construe as evidence the company violated American law”.

In addition to conducting personal interviews with selected journalists, lawyers will also be looking at email and financial records, said this source.

A News International spokesman confirmed that a review of journalistic standards is underway at News International, which Linklaters is assisting with.

“This is part of a process that started a number of weeks ago and is under the ultimate control of the News Corp board through the independent director Viet Dinh, Joel Klein and the Management and Standards Committee”.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

Greenslade: Phone hacking book deals already signed

The Guardian’s Roy Greenslade reports today that book deals relating to the phone-hacking scandal have already been signed.

This includes one for Guardian journalist Nick Davies, of which is said to be “provisionally” titled Hack Attack.

It’s scheduled for release in autumn next year. So it looks as though Labour MP Tom Watson will get in first because his tome, for Penguin Press, is due to be published before the end of this year. It is being co-written with Martin Hickman of the Independent, a former journalist of the year.

Greenslade adds that “there is not the least sense of competition or animosity between Davies and Watson”, with the story big enough for the two of them, if not more.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

Phone hacking: Harbottle & Lewis authorised to respond to MPs and police questions

News Corporation has confirmed that law firm Harbottle & Lewis has been authorised to respond to questions from the Metropolitan police and select committees on the phone-hacking case.

The firm was featured in a number of questions from MPs during the culture, media and sport select committee on Tuesday, when News Corporation boss Rupert Murdoch, his son James and former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks were asked about a file of emails, said to form part of the Harbottle & Lewis review, and the contents of which were said by Brooks to “put a new light” on information in the case later on.

Giving evidence, James Murdoch, chairman of News International, said the company engaged a law firm to review a number of emails and that it offered its opinion on those.

What I do know is that the company rested on that, rested on the fact that the police told us that there was no new evidence and no reason for a new investigation, and rested on the opinion of the PCC that there was no new information and no reason to carry it further.

It was not until new evidence emerged from the civil litigations that were going on that the company immediately went to the police, restarted this, and the company has done the right thing in that respect.

Yesterday (20 July) the law firm said it was restricted from responding to some of the comments because of client confidentiality, but News Corporation’s management and standards committee (MSC) has since announced that News International has decided to authorise the law firm to answer questions from the Metropolitan police and select committees.

The MSC is authorised to co-operate fully with all relevant investigations and inquiries in the News of the World phone hacking case, police payments and all other related issues across News International, as well as conducting its own inquiries where appropriate

According to a report by the Financial Times the firm is now reviewing what can be said.

While lawmakers questioned why the e-mails Harbottle reviewed were not handed to police, the solicitors’ regulatory code says that a duty to report criminality can be overridden by client confidentiality, except where lawyers suspect that clients may go on to cause violent crime.

The law firm has not responded to a request for comment by Journalism.co.uk.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

© Mousetrap Media Ltd. Theme: modified version of Statement