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July 15 2011


Ad campaign in every national newspaper, Rupert Murdoch: "We are sorry."

Guardian :: Rupert Murdoch has continued to attempt to rebuild his newspaper empire's tarnished reputation by placing a full-page advert in every national newspaper bearing his signature and declaring:

"We are sorry. The News of the World was in the business of holding others to account. It failed when it came to itself. ...

Continue to read John Plunkett, www.guardian.co.uk


Mediatwits #13: Smartphone Ownership Booms; This Week in Rupert

jack shafer.jpg

Welcome to the 13th episode of "The Mediatwits," the weekly audio podcast from MediaShift. The co-hosts are MediaShift's Mark Glaser and Rafat Ali, the founder of PaidContent. This week's show looks at a recent survey by Pew Internet that found that 35 percent of Americans now have smartphones, and that ownership is even higher among people of color. Guest Aaron Smith from Pew explained one surprise from the survey: 25 percent of smartphone users were using their phone as their main source of accessing the Net.

Then talk once again turned to the United Kingdom, and what is becoming a regular feature on the podcast: "This Week in Rupert." The phone-hacking scandal continues to widen, with News Corp. dropping its bid to take over BSkyB, and a new FBI investigation into possible hacking of the phones of 9/11 victims in the U.S. Special guest Jack Shafer, Pressbox columnist for Slate, says not to jump to conclusions and that the New York Post and Fox News are innocent until proven guilty.

Check it out!


Subscribe to the podcast here

Subscribe to Mediatwits via iTunes

Follow @TheMediatwits on Twitter here

Intro and outro music by 3 Feet Up; mid-podcast music by Autumn Eyes via Mevio's Music Alley.

Here are some highlighted topics from the show:

Google+ addictions

0:40: Mark convincing friends to join Google+

3:10: Rafat waiting until it grows out of early adopter phase

3:30: Rundown of topics for the podcast

Pew Internet survey on smartphone use

aaron smith pew.JPG

05:00: Background on Pew Internet's Aaron Smith

07:15: Smartphones becoming part of daily life

11:15: Theories on popularity of smartphones by blacks, Latinos

This Week in Rupert

14:50: Slate's Jack Shafer now supporting Murdoch (joking!)

16:10: Update on the phone-hacking scandal, spreading to 9/11 victims?

18:20: Everyone's guilty before anything is proven

20:20: Guardian, Nick Davies deserve praise for staying on story

22:30: Fox News impacted? Mark and Jack argue it out

25:45: Twitter keeps Jack updated on story

More Reading

Smartphone Adoption and Usage at Pew Internet

As smartphones proliferate, some users are cutting the computer cord at Washington Post

Smartphones and Mobile Internet Use Grow, Report Says at NY Times' Bits blog

Jack Shafer's Pressbox column on Slate

Rupert Murdoch, Paper Tiger at Slate

Murdoch Pulls the Ultimate Reverse Ferret at Slate

FBI to investigate Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.: Did it hack 9/11 victims? at Christian Science Monitor

Google Plus Users Top 10 Million; 1 Billion Items Shared Each Day at ReadWriteWeb

Weekly Poll

Don't forget to vote in our weekly poll, this time about how you access the Internet:

How do you access the Internet?

Check out the results of a previous poll: What do you think about Google+?

Screen shot 2011-07-14 at 4.00.33 PM.png

Mark Glaser is executive editor of MediaShift and Idea Lab. He also writes the bi-weekly OPA Intelligence Report email newsletter for the Online Publishers Association. He lives in San Francisco with his son Julian. You can follow him on Twitter @mediatwit.

This is a summary. Visit our site for the full post ».

July 14 2011


"Bad news" - Press barons lose information monopoly in Twitter era

The phone-hacking scandal and how the whole story is also a mirror of a changing media and news landscape. At least if we like to follow the argumentation of Peter Apps who wrote this piece which sheds some light on the role of social media in the News of the World case. (Sorry for being so provocative in the headline, I mean the "bad news" part of it.)

Reuters :: But once the old-school investigative reporters of Britain's Guardian newspaper revealed hacking victims included teenage murder victim Milly Dowler, bombing victims and the families of Britain's war dead, social media and the Internet took over.

The initial story might have come from mainstream print media, but the online wave of outrage -- which swiftly turned to mass lobbying of advertisers, who deserted the paper in droves to save public face -- was something newer, the latest example of social media acting as an accelerant in a political crisis.

Continue to read Peter Apps, www.reuters.com


What it was like to write for 'News of the World' - confessions of a reporter

Hollywood Reporter :: A former staffer describes for The Hollywood Reporter, or THR how she was sent with a tiny "pen cam" with orders to catch Mike Tyson in a "cocaine orgy"; finding none, editors embellished her story with "three-way sex and other activities I had not witnessed."

In 2006, this U.S.-based author spent four months working at the Rupert Murdoch-owned Brithsh tabloid. She answered to then-editor-in-chief Andy Coulson, who would resign in 2007 over the phone-hacking scandal that has engulfed News Corp. and led to the closing of the 168-year-old newspaper. In her own words, she describes her experience.

Continue to read the exclusive story Anonymous, www.hollywoodreporter.com

July 13 2011


Zero hour - Timothy Garton Ash: a new settlement between politics, media and law must emerge

Guardian :: Britain's drama has penetrated the carapace of American self-preoccupation. Legendary reporter Carl Bernstein compares it to Watergate. On morning television, Hugh Grant appeals to Americans to wake up to Rupert Murdoch's pernicious influence on their own media. Business reporters track the impact on News Corp shares. Senator John Rockefeller calls for an inquiry into whether Americans' phones were hacked. If it turns out that 9/11 victims were targeted, as suggested by the campaigning MP Tom Watson in prime minister's questions, then this will no longer be just a foreign story.

But what does it all mean?

[Timothy Garton Ash, Guardian:] From the putrid quagmire of the hacking scandal must emerge a new settlement between politics, media and the law

Continue to read Timothy Garton Ash, www.guardian.co.uk


David Carr, New York Times: A kind of British Spring is under way

New York Times :: In consequence of the phone-hacking scandal, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation summarily slid the 168-year-old News of the World, U.K., under a double-decker bus on Sunday, closing it down completely. It is a chance for the country.

[David Carr, New York Times:] A kind of British Spring is under way, now that the News Corporation’s tidy system of punishment and reward has crumbled. Members of Parliament, no longer fearful of retribution in Rupert Murdoch’s tabloids, are speaking their minds and giving voice to the anger of their constituents. Meanwhile, social media has roamed wild and free across the story, punching a hole in the tiny clubhouse that had been running the country. Democracy, aided by sunlight, has broken out in Britain.

Continue to read David Carr, www.nytimes.com


Rupert Murdoch has withdrawn his $12 billion BSkyB bid

Huffington Post :: HuffPo reports that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. has withdrawn its $12 billion bid for BSkyB. The withdrawal represents a devastating blow to Murdoch, who had desperately sought to take full control of the satellite broadcaster. It comes after the British government dramatically withdrew its support for the bid on Tuesday in consequence of recent phone-hacking scandal in which News of the Worlds was involved.

Continue to read Jack Mirkinson, www.huffingtonpost.com

July 12 2011


Phone hacking: Met police chiefs appear before MPs - Guardian's interactive timeline

Guardian :: Senior Metropolitan police officers, including assistant commissioner John Yeats, appeared before a Commons select committee and faced questions over the police's response to the phone hacking scandal. Confused about what happened when and who knew what? - No problem. The Guardian has published an interactive timeline which you can virtually "walk" back and forth to see how the whole scandal evolved.

Continue to read Paddy Allen | Sam Jones, www.guardian.co.uk

July 11 2011


News Corp. shareholders in class action over phone-hacking

Forbes :: Jeff Bercovici, Forbes, reports that the plaintiffs who initiated a class action against Murdoch and News Corp. in March over his $675 million acquisition of his daughter Elisabeth’s production company have amended their lawsuit to reflect the events of the past week, which led to the closure of the News of the World.

Continue to read the summary by Jeff Bercovici, blogs.forbes.com

News Corp Shareholder Suit Amended

Continue to read the summary by Jeff Bercovici, blogs.forbes.com


NOTW - 1500 on Thursday: end of an era? Why do all politicians kow-tow to Rupert Murdoch?

BBC News :: The primary function of Rupert Murdoch's newspaper and TV empire and Jonathan Harmsworth's Daily Mail and General Trust, these journalistic centres of power, is to dispense approval or disapproval to politicians. A News International journalist is reported to have said to Labour leader Ed Miliband: "You've made it personal with Rebekah so we're going to make it personal with you.". Paul Mason, BBC News: "That is the kind of power that, until about 1500 on Thursday, journalists in that circle could wield."

The question everybody has been asking journalists and politicians last weekend: why do all politicians kow-tow to Mr Murdoch; what is it that makes them incapable of seeing the moral hazards of the relationship?

Continue to read Paul Mason, www.bbc.co.uk


NOTW e-mails found - Evidence of alleged criminal behaviour: payments to the police

BBC :: As BBC reports News International found e-mails in 2007 that appeared to indicate that payments were being made to the police for information, although this evidence of alleged criminal behaviour was not handed to the Metropolitan Police for investigation until 20 June of this year. According to sources, these e-mails were in the possession of the firm of solicitors, Harbottle & Lewis. They were retrieved from Harbottle & Lewis by lawyers acting for News Interernational and for William Lewis - general manager of News International - who is in charge of News International's clean-up of what went wrong at the News of the World, and who was recruited by News International last July.

Continue to read Robert Peston, www.bbc.co.uk


NOTW staff: final crossword with a message to Rebekah Brooks, but rage is not an option

The Telegraph :: A source at the News of the World told the DailyMail that Rebekah Brooks had ordered two loyal Sun journalists to comb the papers looking for tricks. They said: "Rebekah tried everything to stop the staff having the last word and she utterly failed." She brought in two very senior Sun journalists to go though every line on every page with a fine tooth comb to ensure there were no libels or any hidden mocking messages of the chief executive. They seemed to have failed. Departing staff at the News of the World appear to have sent a parting message of disgust to former editor Rebekah Brooks in the crossword.

Taking revenge has never been a good strategy, although it's understandable. I hope that there will a process of coming to terms with the phone hacking scandal; a further investigation into who was responsible for what and what lead to such a decline that the most important principles of reporting were neglected.

Continue to read Raf Sanchez, www.telegraph.co.uk

July 10 2011


Arianna Huffington: political elite would not stuck with the NOTW story, but journalists

Huffington Post :: A reminder. This week Britain's phone hacking scandal mushroomed from journalistic black-eye to a crisis engulfing the UK's most powerful institutions. News of the World was published for the last time today.

[Arianna Huffington:] Although filled with journalists behaving badly, it's important to remember that it was journalists, especially the Guardian's Nick Davies and Amelia Hill, who diligently stuck with this story for years and brought it to light -- something the political elite and the paid-off police wouldn't do.

Continue to read Arianna Huffington, www.huffingtonpost.com


Telegraph: 'Former News of the World journalists' silenced on Twitter

Telegraph :: Twitter accounts purporting to be held by former News of the World journalists went silent today and the majority of their tweets were deleted. The @ExNOTWjourno account, which had been threatening to release damning new information about News International, had all but three tweets deleted just after 10am and all of its 20,000 followers were dropped.

[@ExNOTWjourno:] they are attacking me from all sides.

The Telegraph mentioned that @EXNOTWjourno said in one tweet she had postponed the disclosures following advice from lawyers.

Continue to read Katherine Rushton, www.telegraph.co.uk


Phone hacking and News of the World: Rupert Murdoch has taken risks too far

Guardian :: The advertiser boycott of the News of the World grew and grew recently. It wasn't a question of who would be pulling their ads any longer, more of whether anybody would dare to take space. 

[Peter Preston:] Didn't Rupert (Murdoch) traditionally ring up the News of the World editor every Saturday afternoon and ask "What have you got"? Did he never go on to inquire where it came from, then? How could Rebekah Brooks, NOTW chief executive have been unaware of her whole show going off the rails?

There is a risk that the destruction of the News of the World in a mushroom cloud of contrition, doesn't work for the Rupert Murdoch's news empire. Will it ease the pressure and let News Corp get back to making pots of money from movies and television? That's what an increasingly restive board in New York, flanked by an even more restive array of corporate shareholders, will be hoping. But it's very hard to see that happening. 

Continue to read Peter Preston, www.guardian.co.uk


Protect whistleblowers - Rupert Murdoch thanked the NOTW's staff for their loyal silence

Guardian :: The truth about the truth. Nick Cohen: "We like to think of ourselves as speakers of truth to power. The British national stereotype holds that we are a sturdy people, who are proud of our right to speak our minds. Our behaviour at work belies the cliche. I know good journalists at News International, but not one of them challenged a management that was presiding over a criminal conspiracy. If they had spoken plainly, their editors would have fired them and in all likelihood they would never have worked in the media again, because no other manager would want them to do to him what they had done to his predecessors."

[Nick Cohen, Guardian:] Spill the beans on your company's criminal activities and you'll not just lose your job, you could lose your career

Continue to read Nick Cohen, www.guardian.co.uk


Ex-Murdoch editor Andrew Neil: everybody knew the NOTW newsroom was out of control

Guardian :: Andrew Neil, one of Rupert Murdoch's former leading editors, who edited the Sunday Times, said the News of the World, or NOTW, did not have a public interest defence for its practices, exposed by the Guardian, one of the most significant media stories of modern times. It suggests that rather than being a one off journalist or rogue private investigator, it was systemic throughout the News of the World, and to a lesser extent the Sun.

[Andrew Neil:] Particularly in the News of the World, this was a newsroom out of control … Everyone who knows the News of the World, everybody knows this was going on. But it did no good to talk about it. One News of the World journalist said to me … it was dangerous to talk about it.

Continue to read Vikram Dodd, www.guardian.co.uk

July 09 2011


Ex News of the World journalists plan an "inside story" blog

paidContent :: News International is taking down its online paywall for the last edition of The News of the World, or NOTW, on Sunday, July 10. But the scandal-ridden newspaper might just get scooped by one of its own. An anonymous person, calling herself @ExNOTWJourno on Twitter, has said that she is getting together with ex-colleagues from the newspaper to launch a blog on Saturday night that promises the “inside story” of NOTW.

Continue to read Ingrid Lunden, paidcontent.co.uk

July 08 2011


On itnnews - James Murdoch "regrets" phone hacking scandal

itnnews:: News Corp boss James Murdoch has said he regrets the phone hacking scandal that has led to the closure of the News of the World. Watch the video below.

Original video published here itnnews channel, www.youtube.com


Who Is Ultimately Responsible for the U.K. Phone-Hacking Scandal?

The revelations coming out by the hour in the U.K. phone-hacking scandal are breathtaking. What began as supposedly a rogue operation by a gossip reporter and a private investigator have now allegedly widened to include many more editors, reporters, investigators, bribes to police and the shutdown of the best-selling newspaper in the English language -- the News of the World. (You can get more details from our MediaShift report as well as on today's podcast.)

The question is: Who is ultimately responsible for this scandal? The people who did the hacking, which was illegal, or their bosses who had knowledge of their actions? Should top executives at News International be axed? And what about the police and Parliamentary inquiries that may have ignored evidence of wrongdoing? Just how far does this escalate? Share your thoughts in the comments below and vote in our poll.

Who is ultimately responsible for the U.K. phone-hacking scandal?online survey

This is a summary. Visit our site for the full post ».

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