News' Australian story of ethics and self-regulation: A cautionary tale

Rhonda Breit, Matthew Ricketson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    I know the newsrooms, I know how cultures develop, and I’m hugely confident that there is no improper or unethical behaviour in our newsrooms.

    (ABC 2011, 14 July)
    This is how News Limited Chairman and Chief Executive John Hartigan publicly defended the ethical culture of News’ Australian operations in the week following News of the World’s (NoW’s) closure. Speaking during an interview on ABC’s 7.30 Report, Hartigan continued in his defence of Rupert Murdoch’s Australian stable, following shock revelations that NoW had hacked into the phone messages of murdered teenager Milly Dowler:

    We’re a company of values, like most companies, and we have very implicit values, we have things that we think as a company and individually as editors that need to be done...We’re the only organisation that really takes it up to the Government. (ABC 2011, 14 July)

    In Australia, News Limited controls about 70 percent of daily newspapers. Therefore, the Murdoch media dynasty has a lot to lose in terms of reputation. These reputational risks associated with NoW have emerged at a time when newspaper circulation is declining and advertising revenue is diminishing. The Australian boss has been on the offensive, rejecting claims that the Murdoch’s Australian operations have been involved in any comparable wrongdoing. Hartigan has responded overtly to reports connecting the conduct in the United Kingdom with News’ behaviour in Australia
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)41-47
    Number of pages7
    JournalTelevision and New Media
    Volume13
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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