News / USA

    News Corp Faces Potential Fallout in US

    News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch holds a copy of The Sun and The Times as he is driven away from his flat in central London July 11, 2011.
    News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch holds a copy of The Sun and The Times as he is driven away from his flat in central London July 11, 2011.

    Multimedia

    Peter Fedynsky

    U.S.-based News Corp. is at the center of a phone-hacking scandal in Britain that is having serious business and legal implications for the media giant. There is increased scrutiny in the United States of News Corp. and its chairman, Rupert Murdoch.

    Allegations that the U.S.-based News Corp. violated British law may have legal consequences for the company in the United States.  Several U.S. senators and Republican Congressman Peter King have called for an investigation to determine if the company violated any American laws.  Attorney General Eric Holder, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have responded with preliminary inquiries.

    Jay Fahy, a former federal prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, explains relevant laws.

    “On the criminal side, from what we know, it’s the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and perhaps some privacy violations, or mail fraud or wire fraud as to breaking into cell phone records," said Fahy. "There may also be bribery if cell phone companies were somehow given money.”

    News Corp. is alleged to have bribed British police to get information for stories run in its tabloid News of the World.  The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act extends a U.S. prohibition against bribery to include U.S. companies operating abroad.  Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, who once served as a spokesman for British Prime Minister David Cameron, has been arrested in the case, which involves not only the possible tapping of cell phones in Britain, but of 9/11 victims in the United States.  

    News Corp. has also suffered multi-billion-dollar business losses.  The media giant was forced to scuttle plans to buy a controlling share of the lucrative British Sky Broadcasting, Britain’s biggest satellite broadcaster.  

    Felix Gillette, a reporter for Bloomberg Businessweek, says the scandal has also pummeled the company’s stock.

    “They’ve lost on paper more than $5 billion," said Gilette. "I think shareholders are nervous about what this means for the future of the whole company."

    News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch, an Australian by birth, acquired U.S. citizenship to be eligible for media ownership in the United States.  His assets include a Hollywood studio and the Fox television network, which is particularly influential among American conservatives.  

    Murdoch has been criticized for consolidating media, depriving the public of diverse viewpoints needed to make informed decisions in a democratic society.  Among the critics is Dean Starkman, a fellow at the Columbia Journalism Review.

    “This moment, with the scandal in the U.K., it has the potential to radically change the media landscape both here in the U.S. and around the world," said Starkman.

    Starkman says the phone-hacking scandal could give smaller media organizations an opportunity to challenge the power that News Corp. has acquired.  That power includes 27 broadcasting licenses in the United States issued by the Federal Communications Commission.  Jay Fahy says the FCC could refuse to renew those licenses.

    “If the FCC took a hard line on this, and it is proven that Murdoch knew of it, or his son knew of it, or very high level people in the company knew of it, this could cause them to lose those licenses, and if those licenses are lost, that’s the end of his empire," he said.

    Fox News has made little mention of the scandal and did not respond to VOA’s request for an interview.  Rupert Murdoch told The Wall Street Journal, which he owns, that he is creating an independent committee to investigate allegations of possibly illegal reporting tactics that have shaken his company.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    Diplomats Hope to Revive Cradle of Civilization After Defeat of IS

    Diplomats from around globe gather at US State Department, discuss how to rebuild minority communities shattered by Islamic State group

    Women Voters Look Past Gender in Assessing Clinton

    She's the first female presidential nominee, but party identification, other factors outweigh gender

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora