Ofcom Investigation Clears Sky Of Phone Hacking Involvement
An Ofcom investigation has ruled that Sky is “fit and proper” to retain their broadcasting license, The Independent reported today (September 20, 2012). The organization was investigated following the phone hacking scandal, involving Sky’s former chairman James Murdoch and News Corporation, who own 39% of Sky’s shares. The media scandal led to the closure of one of the UK’s major tabloid papers, the News of The World.
The Ofcom report claimed that there was “no evidence” that Sky were in any way involved in the wrongdoings related to the phone hacking; either of the alleged or admitted offenses. Murdoch himself (the son of Rupert Murdoch), however, was on the receiving end of plenty of criticism as a result of the investigation. Though they acknowledge that James may not have been aware of any wrongdoing at the News of the World, he has still been accused of failing to uncover the problems. “We consider James Murdoch's conduct, including his failure to initiate action on his own account on a number of occasions, to be both difficult to comprehend and ill-judged,” the report read.
Since the scandal broke, Murdoch has resigned from his post as chairman of Sky, claiming that he had become a “lightning rod” for bad publicity and wanted to distance Sky from the scandal. He has, however, retained his posts as executive director of BSkyB and executive director of News Corp. Sky, of course, have welcomed the findings of the report and issued a statement to say “As a company, we are committed to high standards of governance and we take our regulatory obligations extremely seriously. As Ofcom acknowledges, our track record of compliance in broadcasting is good."