The Murdoch Empire: How media shapes society

July 20th, 2011

The scandal enveloping Rupert Mudoch’s beleaguered News Corporation mounts this week as revelations continue to emerge about the widespread use of phone hacking, pinging, and other illegal techniques by Murdoch-connected journalists.

In a breathtaking two weeks, the scandal has so far seen the formation of a parliamentary inquiry into the affair, the folding of the 168-year-old News of the World, the withdrawal of Murdoch’s bid for ownership of BskyB, the resignations of the Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner of the London Metropolitan Police as well as Wall Street Journal publisher CEO Les Hinton and News International CEO Rebekah Brooks, the arrest of Brooks on suspicion of involvement in the illegal hacking along with Andy Coulson, the British Prime Minister’s former communications director, and, in one of the latest developments, the death of Sean Hoare, the first journalist to allege that Coulson had encouraged his staff to engage in phone hacking during his tenure as News of the World editor.

The rapidity with which the scandal has eaten through to the very heart of the unholy alliance between the British press, police and government has taken nearly everyone by surprise, even those who already knew of the existence of that alliance in the first place. Now, the incredible influence that Rupert Murdoch has wielded over the British political establishment, a topic that until this month was conspicuously absent from discussions of the British electoral process, is being openly talked about on every major television network not currently owned by Murdoch himself…

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