News / Asia

News Corp Phone-Hacking Crisis Spreads to Australia

The mastheads of News Corp owned newspapers are displayed above a news agents in Melbourne, July 15, 2011
The mastheads of News Corp owned newspapers are displayed above a news agents in Melbourne, July 15, 2011

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said Friday the Justice Department is reviewing requests from lawmakers in Washington for a probe into Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation following the British phone-hacking scandal. Holder is on an official trip to Australia, which is also considering an inquiry into media ownership laws. A News Corporation subsidiary, News Limited, is the dominant player in Australia’s newspaper industry.

Members of the U.S. Congress are demanding an investigation into allegations that News Corporation has illegally hacked phones in the United States.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters in Sydney that those requests are being closely considered.

"While there have been serious allegations raised in that regard in Great Britain and there is an ongoing investigation there, as is appropriate, there have been members of Congress in the United States that have asked us to investigate those same allegations and we are progressing in that regard, using the appropriate federal law enforcement agencies in the United States," he said.

Holder's remarks follow the launch of an FBI probe Thursday into claims that the British tabloid The News of the World contacted a private investigator in the United States in a bid to access phone records of 9/11 victims.

The FBI inquiries are preliminary in nature and do not constitute a formal investigation, but the development puts more pressure on Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

In Australia, where the tycoon was born, the government says it may review its media laws because of the British phone hacking scandal.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Limited is the most powerful media organization in Australia, but it is now coming under unprecedented scrutiny. Some legislators have questioned the company’s domination of the newspaper industry and are demanding an official investigation into its operations. They say the Australian public is worried that phone hacking could have taken place here, although it has yet to find any evidence. In Canberra, the government says it may review media ownership laws and other regulations.

Speaking Thursday at the National Press Club, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said she had been sickened by the News of the World scandal.

“Like I think most Australians, I’ve been pretty shocked and disgusted to see the revelations that we’ve seen in the United Kingdom," said Gillard. "I think we will have a long debate about media ethics in this country but if I could put it as clearly I can, I’d say to you don’t write crap.”

The chief executive of News Limited, John Hartigan, responded to the controversy by saying he believed his employees have behaved honorably.

“I know the newsrooms, I know how cultures develop and I'm hugely confident that there is no improper or unethical behavior in our newsrooms,” he said.

The News Limited chief has also said that the phone hacking scandal was “an affront” to good journalism.

Meanwhile, Rupert Murdoch and his son James have agreed to answer questions from British members of parliament next week, after initially refusing to do so.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

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.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid