News Corp U.K. Unit Emphasizes Corporate Changes After Hacking Trial Verdicts

5:36 AM PST 06/24/2014 by Georg Szalai
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"We made changes in the way we do business to help ensure wrongdoing like this does not occur again," the British arm of Rupert Murdoch's company says.

LONDON – News UK, the British arm of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, on Tuesday issued a statement following the first verdicts in the phone hacking trial, emphasizing the changes it has put into place since the hacking scandal first erupted.

The jury in the case mid-day London cleared Rebekah Brooks, former editor of the company's shuttered News of the World tabloid, and several other defendants of all charges. It found former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, who also used to serve as communications director for British Prime Minister David Cameron, guilty on one charge of conspiring to hack phones. The jury will continue to deliberate on two charges against Coulson and the former royal editor of the tabloid that allege they conspired to bribe public officials.

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"We said long ago, and repeat today, that wrongdoing occurred, and we apologized for it," News UK said in its statement. "We have been paying compensation to those affected and have cooperated with investigations."
 
It added: "We made changes in the way we do business to help ensure wrongdoing like this does not occur again."

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News UK added that "we are strong supporters of the Independent Press Standards Organization that is expected to begin work this autumn, serving as a watchdog on the industry in the public interest." Critics have said the company and other publishers should agree to a regulator as envisioned by the Leveson Inquiry into U.K. media ethics and standards.  
 
News UK didn't comment beyond that, saying: "Out of respect for the fact that further legal proceedings will occur, we will have no further comment at this time."

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai


 

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