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British PM: Relationship Between Media, Politicians Too Cozy

In this image from video, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron testifies at the Leveson Inquiry, an official media ethics inquiry, in London, June 14, 2012.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has gone before a media ethics panel to testify about his relationship with media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

Cameron told the government-funded, independent panel that politicians and the media have had a too close relationship for the past two decades. He says there needs to be more transparency and better regulations need to be in place because the current system does not work.

Prime Minister Cameron says his policies are based on belief and not the demands of, or relations with, a media editor. But he admits within the political system, favoritism toward the media does happen.

Cameron ordered the court inquiry last July, after Murdoch's News of the World tabloid was accused of hacking the phone of a murdered schoolgirl and the phones of major politicians and celebrities.

The prime minister's relationship with Murdoch gained scrutiny after Cameron hired former News of the World editor Andy Coulson as his communications chief.

Coulson now faces corruption charges in connection with the phone-hacking scandal.

Shortly after the phone-hacking allegations became public, Murdoch closed News of the World.

The hacking allegations against News of the World trace back several years. In 2007, a News of the World reporter and a private investigator hired by the paper were jailed for intercepting the cell phone messages of British royal officials. The tabloid also is accused of hacking the phones of politicians and celebrities.

Some critics of the original investigation have suggested London police were too close to the newspaper - a claim the police deny.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.