Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ethics-Challenged Murdoch Assures Sunday Sun Will Be "Fun...And Ethical"

The man who leads a corporation of phone hackers, computer hackers, extortionists, bribers, and other assorted criminals and lawbreakers promises his new Sunday newspaper will have the highest standards:

Rupert Murdoch's Sun on Sunday launched with a manifesto that attempts to set out a fresh agenda for the tabloid replacing the News of the World, which was closed by the media mogul last July.

The newspaper pledged to be "fearless, outspoken, mischievous and fun", while setting out its commitment to high ethical standards in the wake of the scandals that have rocked News International and led to the arrests of 10 of its own journalists for alleged corrupt payments to public officials.


An editorial on page 12, titled "A new Sun rises today", admits News International is going through a "challenging period" and states that it will hold its journalists to account and abide by the ethical code set out by the industry watchdog, the Press Complaints Commission. It reads: "As we launch the seven-day Sun, we want to strengthen that connection [with the readers] with a new independent Sun Readers' Champion to accept feedback and correct significant errors.

"Our journalists must abide by the Press Complaints Commission's editors code, the industry standard for ethical behaviour, and the News Corporation standards of business conduct. We will hold our journalists to the standards we expect of them. After all a newspaper which holds the powerful to account must do the same with itself. You will be able to trust our journalists to abide by the values of decency as they gather news."

The paper said it would remain "fearless, outspoken, mischievous and fun" and said the Sun has been a "tremendous force for good", adding: "It is worth reminding our readers, and detractors, of that as we publish our historic first Sunday edition during what is a challenging period. News International closed our sister paper the News of the World over the phone-hacking scandal.

Even as the Sun launches with its promises of ethical journalism, The Guardian reports the following:

Earlier this week News International was accused in court documents of having taken active steps to delete and prepare to delete its email archives as phone-hacking allegations and lawsuits against the publisher mounted in 2009 and developed in 2010.

According to court documents filed by victims of hacking, the newspaper publisher allegedly produced an email deletion policy in November 2009 the aim of which was to "eliminate in a consistent manner" emails "that could be unhelpful in the context of future litigation".

An unnamed senior executive at News Group Newspapers, the News International subsidiary that publishes the Sun and the News of the World, also repeatedly demanded progress on the policy during 2010, asking on 29 July: "How come we still haven't done the email deletion policy discussed and approved six months ago?"

They've got some work to do at News Corporation to assure the rest of us they've learned to be ethical, don't they?

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