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Analysis and Comment (30)

Andy Coulson: out of town on key dates in prosecution evidence. Andy Coulson: out of town on key dates in prosecution evidence. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Journalism in the dock: the prosecution rests

The phone hacking trial which began on 28 October, has entered the final phase of the prosecution case. On trial along with five others are Rebekah Brooks, former chief executive of News International…
In the dock: a who’s who of tabloid journalists. In the dock: a who’s who of tabloid journalists. Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire

Journalism in the dock: first month of phone hacking trial

When Justice John Saunders opened what has been called the “trial of the century” he told the jury: “In a way, not only are the defendants on trial, but British justice is on trial.” To say the defendants…
Sensitive: reporting of the Brooks trial must take care not to be prejudicial. Sensitive: reporting of the Brooks trial must take care not to be prejudicial. AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

British justice on trial in ‘R v Rebekah Brooks and Others’

It is rare indeed to hear an English judge, presiding over a case described as the “Trial of the Century”, explain to the jury that “in this case, in a way, not only are the defendants on trial, but British…
British Labour MP has worked to expose and investigate activities by News Corporation figures ranging from phone hacking to bribing police. British Labour MP has worked to expose and investigate activities by News Corporation figures ranging from phone hacking to bribing police. Chris Boland

In Conversation with Tom Watson MP: edited transcript

Jill Singer: You’ve come here fresh from being British Labour’s campaign coordinator, which you’re not doing now. We won’t get into all the argy-bargy about that. But I wonder, coming from that perspective…
Rupert Murdoch’s evidence to the Leveson Inquiry appears to contradict statements recorded by his journalists in mid-2013, says Labour MP Tom Watson. Rupert Murdoch’s evidence to the Leveson Inquiry appears to contradict statements recorded by his journalists in mid-2013, says Labour MP Tom Watson. Toastwife

In Conversation with Tom Watson MP: “If I was Lord Leveson I’d be asking which Rupert Murdoch was telling me the truth”

Rupert Murdoch may have perjured himself before the Leveson Inquiry, according to claims made by British Labour MP Tom Watson. Watson, who has spent much of the last five years investigating activities…
A secret recording of News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch has emerged, where he candidly discusses how much he really knew of the phone hacking allegations. A secret recording of News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch has emerged, where he candidly discusses how much he really knew of the phone hacking allegations. EPA/Facundo Arrizabalaga

The Murdoch tapes: News Corp culture and the phone hacking scandal

News Corporation executive chairman Rupert Murdoch has been secretly recorded regretting the assistance given to authorities who were investigating allegations of phone hacking and corruption at his newspapers…
Former News International executive Rebekah Brooks leaves the Old Bailey after appearing on charges of conspiring to bribe public officials. It was revelations about journalistic practises at News that inspired inquiries in Australia and the UK. Former News International executive Rebekah Brooks leaves the Old Bailey after appearing on charges of conspiring to bribe public officials. It was revelations about journalistic practises at News that inspired inquiries in Australia and the UK. EPA/Andy Rain

UK and Australian media reforms are very different beasts

There are at least two points of convergence in this week’s parliamentary deliberations on media freedom in Australia and the UK. Both are driven by reports – Finkelstein and Leveson respectively – responding…
UK lawyer Charlotte Harris, who represented phone hacking victims, said the police should have acted to protect the public. UK lawyer Charlotte Harris, who represented phone hacking victims, said the police should have acted to protect the public. Photo © Mishcon de Reya; Used with permission. All rights reserved.

UK phone hacking victims' lawyer Charlotte Harris In Conversation: full transcript

Rod Tiffen: Charlotte Harris, thanks for getting together with us. We’re doing this interview when Lord Leveson – the Leveson Inquiry’s been one of the most major inquiries ever held into media in the…
James and Rupert Murdoch appearing before the Westminster parliamentary committee that has subsequently attacked their fitness as media proprietors. James and Rupert Murdoch appearing before the Westminster parliamentary committee that has subsequently attacked their fitness as media proprietors. EPA/Press Association

Rupert Murdoch: the amazing transformation of the Wizard of Oz

Will the damning, and somewhat surprising, verdict brought in on Rupert Murdoch by a committee of British parliamentarians, spell the end of the reign of the Wizard of Oz? The answer depends on what is…
Shows such as CSI have warped our understanding of what questioning is likely to achieve. Shows such as CSI have warped our understanding of what questioning is likely to achieve. Facundo Arrizablaga/EPA

Questions about questions: Murdoch’s performance at the Leveson Inquiry

Commentators on Rupert Murdoch’s appearance at the Leveson Inquiry have pointed out some alleged inconsistencies between the evidence and his testimony, leading many commentators to reject Murdoch’s claims…
Rebekah Brooks travels to News International headquarters last year. Rebekah Brooks travels to News International headquarters last year. EPA/Kerim Okten

Hackgate: the impact of Rebekah Brooks' arrest

Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and her husband Charlie were among a number of people arrested yesterday UK time on charges of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. The…
You can’t believe everything you read in the papers … but you probably will. You can’t believe everything you read in the papers … but you probably will. EPA/Ian Nicholson

Why The Guardian’s correction won’t change your mind about Milly Dowler

So The Guardian has now retracted its earlier reports that News of the World journalists had deleted Milly Dowler’s voicemails. Those journalists hacked the dead girl’s phone but they may not have deleted…
Karl Rove was never far from President George W Bush’s side. Karl Rove was never far from President George W Bush’s side. AFP/Stephen Jaffe

Spinning it: the power and influence of the government advisor

MEDIA & DEMOCRACY: Today, Anne Tiernan looks at how voters have become consumers of political marketing, as part of The Conversation’s week-long series on how the media influences the way our representatives…
Would a right to privacy have helped Lara Bingle? AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy. Would a right to privacy have helped Lara Bingle? AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy.

Breaching confidence: do we need a privacy tort?

Who would have predicted there would be serious talk of a statutory privacy tort in Australia, giving private individuals who feel their privacy as been breached the right to sue? But then again, who would…
Rupert Murdoch’s News Ltd owns 70 per cent of Australia’s daily print media. Rupert Murdoch’s News Ltd owns 70 per cent of Australia’s daily print media. AAP

The danger of equating freedom of speech with ‘freedom of the press’

While “Murdochgate” rolls on, the question of what it means for Australia has inevitably been attracting considerable attention. In this discussion, News Ltd itself has played a leading role. For those…
Rupert Murdoch holding a copy of The Times, a News International paper. Rupert Murdoch holding a copy of The Times, a News International paper. AAP

The perils of trying to regulate for ethical behaviour

In little more than two weeks, the long simmering issue of illegal phone hacking at News Corporation’s British newspaper News of the World has developed into a cascading crisis, with fatal results for…
As both CEO and chair of News Corp, Murdoch must accept blame for his employees' behaviour. As both CEO and chair of News Corp, Murdoch must accept blame for his employees' behaviour. AAP

Corporate governance 101: the buck stops with Rupert Murdoch

News Corporation shareholders would have been justifiably disturbed when James and Rupert Murdoch told this week’s UK parliamentary committee hearing that they could not be held responsible for the behaviour…
Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News attracts criticism in the US for its perceived bias. Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News attracts criticism in the US for its perceived bias. AAP

Rupert Murdoch and the state of American journalism

The decline and fall of Rupert Murdoch has more twists and turns than a colonoscopy: the closing of the 168-year-old News of the World; the resignation of two of his top executives and four Scotland Yard…
Appearing before a parliamentary committee was “my humblest day” according to Rupert Murdoch. Appearing before a parliamentary committee was “my humblest day” according to Rupert Murdoch. AFP PHOTO/PARBUL

Murdochs' defence strategy: ‘Sorry, we had no idea what was going on’

So, after a day of drama at Westminster, what have we learnt, other than the fact that Rupert Murdoch’s wife Wendi packs a mean left hook (future pranksters beware)? For the best part of six hours we Westminster-watchers…
Lara Bingle and Michael Clarke faced enormous media interest over their relationship. Lara Bingle and Michael Clarke faced enormous media interest over their relationship. AAP

Privacy in the age of no privacy

Reaction to the widening News of the World scandal has again highlighted the lack of protection against invasion of privacy by the media in Australia. Former Prime Minister Paul Keating renewed his attack…
An ethical journalistic culture cannot be imposed from above but must develop within a news gathering organisation. An ethical journalistic culture cannot be imposed from above but must develop within a news gathering organisation. AAP

Ethical reporting after NotW phone hacking: it isn’t black and white

The handwritten sign hanging on the bereaved family’s door says: “No media". As a reporter, do you knock? Most journalism students yell back a resounding “No". Okay then, what if the family has a high…
It’s time to investigate the consequences of concentrated media ownership in Australia. It’s time to investigate the consequences of concentrated media ownership in Australia. AAP

As Murdoch’s crisis deepens, it’s time for a ‘fit and proper’ discussion

As international outrage increases with each new revelation in the News International phone hacking scandal, serious questions are being raised about whether Rupert Murdoch’s empire can be considered a…
Sign of the times for Rupert Murdoch’s UK print media operations. Sign of the times for Rupert Murdoch’s UK print media operations. AAP

The unfolding impact of the Murdoch media crisis

Born and bred in the UK, I have spent my entire adult life in the company of News International newspapers. And as a media scholar by profession, I have been critical of the Murdoch titles for decades…
Rupert Murdoch’s British newspaper empire is reeling under the phone hacking scandal. Rupert Murdoch’s British newspaper empire is reeling under the phone hacking scandal. AAP

Murdoch, mediacracy and the opportunity for a new transparency

Schadenfreude is the tough-sounding word that wins my vote for describing accurately how millions of people around the world are feeling about Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. For those who were long resigned…
Britain’s tabloid culture is yellow journalism for the 21st century. Britain’s tabloid culture is yellow journalism for the 21st century. AAP

Rupert Murdoch and the News International tabloid grotesquerie

When American newspapermen mused on their profession a century ago, they would confess, usually with pride, that it was both cruel and mendacious – and had to be. H L Mencken, among the most influential…
The final edition of the News of the World carried a full page apology to its readers. The final edition of the News of the World carried a full page apology to its readers. AFP/Ian Nicholson

News of the World scandal reverberates beyond the Murdoch empire

The dramatic events around the phone-hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch’s London News of the World are unprecedented in a major news media organisation in an advanced industrial country. A newspaper closed…
Metropolitan Police officers are interviewing senior News International executives as part of their investigation into phone hacking by journalists. AAP photo. Metropolitan Police officers are interviewing senior News International executives as part of their investigation into phone hacking by journalists. AAP photo. AAP

The News of the World closure: trying to make sense of it all

Where to begin? The closure of a 160-year-old newspaper, the arrest of the man who until recently was the Prime Minister’s Director of Communications, the revelations that the Metropolitan Police, or at…
The phones of victims of the London bombings were allegedly hacked by staff at the News of the World. The phones of victims of the London bombings were allegedly hacked by staff at the News of the World. AFP/Dylan Martine/WPA pool

‘Deplorable and indefensible’: the ethics of the News of the World

The British newspaper The News of the World is being investigated over allegations of hacking into the phones of relatives of the victims of the bombings in London in July 2005. It’s also thought those…