Are you following the scandal swirling around media magnate Rupert Murdoch’s empire, which includes The Wall Street Journal and Fox News, just to name two of his American holdings? It seems reporters from his British tabloid News of the World have been caught hacking into voice mails of celebrities, crime victims, members of the Royal family, and even families of 9/11 victims. Now investigators have uncovered evidence that reporters have bribed police officers for story tips–leading to the resignation of the head of Scotland Yard, no less–as well as questionable connections to leading politicians, including Prime Minister Cameron.
Murdoch has shut down News of the World, whose editor has been arrested. Here is the best overview I have found of the whole tangled story: News International phone hacking scandal – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
And of course some people are hoping that the scandal might pull down Murdoch and his conservative-leaning news outlets, including Fox News, though there seems to be no obvious connections.
First, does anyone know how a reporter could hack into someone else’s phone or voice mail?
Second, does this scandal teach us anything about contemporary journalism?