MEDIA, NEWSROOM AMERICA STAFF
A British Parliamentary Select Committee investigating the UK phone hacking scandal has concluded that News Corporation boss, Rupert Murdoch, “is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company.”
News Corporation (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV) had total assets as of December 31, 2011 of approximately US$60 billion and total annual revenues of approximately US$34 billion. It’s activities are conducted principally in the United States, Continental Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, Asia and Latin America.
Murdoch’s media empire includes assets in the United States such as Fox News and the Wall Street Journal.
As part of its investigation, the UK culture committee questioned journalists and executives at the now-defunct News of the World.
“On the basis of the facts and evidence before the Committee, we conclude that, if at all relevant times Rupert Murdoch did not take steps to become fully informed about phone-hacking, he turned a blind eye and exhibited wilful blindness to what was going on in his companies and publications,” the committee said in its report released today.
“This culture, we consider, permeated from the top throughout the organisation and speaks volumes about the lack of effective corporate governance at News Corporation and News International. We conclude, therefore, that Rupert Murdoch is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company,” it concluded.
The committee was split six to four on the conclusions however, with right wing members refusing to endorse it and calling it “partisan”.
News Corporation issued a statement in response to the committee from New York, which said “hard truths” have emerged.
“There was serious wrongdoing at the News of the World; that our response to the wrongdoing was too slow and too defensive; and that some of our employees misled the Select Committee in 2009.
“News Corporation regrets, however, that the Select Committee’s analysis of the factual record was followed by some commentary that we, and indeed several members of the committee, consider unjustified and highly partisan. These remarks divided the members along party lines,” it said.
The statement said the company has already confronted and acted on the failings documented in the Report.
“We have conducted internal reviews of operations at newspapers in the United Kingdom and indeed around the world, far beyond anything asked of us by the Metropolitan Police; we have volunteered any evidence of apparent wrongdoing to the authorities; and, we have instituted sweeping changes in our internal controls and our compliance programs on a world-wide basis, to help ensure that nothing like this ever happens again anywhere at News Corporation.
“As we move forward, our goal is to make certain that in every corner of the globe, our company acts in a manner of which our 50,000 employees and hundreds of thousands of shareholders can be justly proud.”
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