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Murdoch to launch UK Sunday paper

posted 17 Feb 2012, 11:32 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 17 Feb 2012, 11:33 ]

The News Corp boss arrived to calm angry journalists at the Sun newspaper following arrests and handing over of sources to the police.

UK-MURDOCH MEETING - Rupert Murdoch arrived to appease staff at the Sun newspaper in London.

Anger has grown among the journalists whose e-mails and expense accounts have been scrutinised by a committee set up by Murdoch after the hacking scandal forced the closure of the News of the World.

With him today, he brought news of a plan to launch a new Sunday edition of the Sun.


The timing of Murdoch's pledge appears designed to quell rancour which erupted when police arrested a number of senior journalists Murdoch says that such cooperation will continue, but announced that journalists who'd been suspended after being arrested are now free to come back to work, adding that News Corp will pay their legal fees.


Analysts say the sense of betrayal among staff as information about their sources is handed over to the police, may pose an even bigger threat than the public's outrage over the phone hacking scandal.

News Corp's share price nose-dived in the summer and as the company moved to fully take over the pay-tv operator BSkyB, it was forced to quit the bid.


Sun journalists have been in talks with unions over this latest crisis and the National Union of Journalist's is considering a legal challenge to the company.


Michelle Stanistreet is the NUJ's secretary general:

MICHELLE STANISTREET, GENERAL SECRETARY OF NATIONAL UNION OF JOURNALISTS, SAYING:

"It's exactly the same corporate strategy that's been deployed since the hacking scandal broke, it's protect everybody at the top whatever the cost and blame everybody further down the tree and to pin the blame on individual journalists. These are mere scalps for the benefit of and satisfaction of the shareholders in News Corp."


Unlike in July, though, when the News of the World was closed, advertisers have shown little reaction to the turmoil engulfing the Sun.


Campaigners, though, say Murdoch has too much of a stake in the British media:

(MICHEAL CALDERBANK, SPOKESMAN FOR AVAAZ MURDOCH CAMPAIGN, SAYING:

"It's ridiculous that these people are considered fit and proper persons to own a stake in the British media. Our business is not to put Sun journalists out of business but it is to limit the unaccountable power of the media barons and I think that Murdoch typifies that power and its corrupting influence on public life."


Questions will undoubtedly be asked over whether Murdoch should be once again expanding his newspaper empire at a time when so much remains unresolved.


Joanne Nicholson, Reuters

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