Insights from the UK and beyond
UK opposition leader Ed Miliband called on the British media to clean up its image and emphasized the need for a speedy public inquiry into the News of the World phone-hacking scandal. Watch clips of Miliband's comments at a Thomson Reuters Newsmaker event below:
Miliband to British media: "Clean up your image"
Miliband calls for judge-led inquiry into phone-hacking scandal
Miliband wants media watchdog scrapped
Miliband calls for BSkyB referral
Miliband urges UK Prime Minister David Cameron to apologize
Follow our live coverage of the phone-hacking scandal below:
A scandal rocking Rupert Murdoch's media empire deepened on Thursday with claims his best-selling News of the World paper hacked the phones of relatives of British soldiers killed in action. The latest allegations prompted News Corp to shut down the 168-year-old tabloid. Here's a look at the rest of the empire.
from Reuters Investigates:
Steven Barnett, professor of communications at London's Westminster University, spoke for a lot of people when he said of the news:Β "Astonishing. I'm completely gobsmacked. Talk about a nuclear option."
On the first day of one of my journalism classes, the teacher produced a large metal ring with a short rope fastened to it. The ring was made to be installed in a bull's nose, he explained; and the rope β called a lead β let you guide him wherever you wanted. The point was clear, if somewhat condescending: Writing a good lead lets the journalist guide the reader around like cattle.
That illustration was a lot more powerful before the web, during an era when closed media like print newspapers and television limited interactivity and left consumers with no choice but to passively accept the news as presented. It doesn't make sense on the web, where any reader can challenge news content or even become a publisher in a matter of minutes.
During the UK election campaign, Rupert Murdoch's newspapers attacked the Liberal Democrats with headlines like "Lib-Dumb exclusive." It shouldn't therefore come as a complete surprise that Vince Cable, the Lib Dem who is now UK business secretary, has ordered a probe into whether the 12.3 billion pound bid by the media mogul's News Corporation to take full control of British Sky Broadcasting is against the public interest.
Yet while politics may have influenced his decision, Cable has other reasons to probe the deal. Rival UK media groups vociferously oppose it: they fear that, in an online world, the combination of News Corp and BSkyB might kill off other UK newspapersβfor example, by bundling Murdoch's newspaper websites with Sky subscriptions.