Is Murdoch "Fit And Proper" To Hold A U.k. Broadcast License?
ritain's broadcasting regulator OFCOM plans to listen to recordings of a conversation Rupert Murdoch had with reporters for his London daily, The Sun, in which he remarked that paying police and other officials for information was part of the culture of Fleet Street (the onetime London newspaper district). The remark seemed to suggest that Murdoch was aware of such payments, although he insists he was not. According to Exaro.com, which first disclosed the existence of the recordings, OFCOM wants to hear them to determine whether Murdoch's 21st Century Fox abides by the regulator's fit and proper standards to continue broadcasting in the U.K. The company owns a controlling interest in satellite broadcaster BSkyB. Meanwhile, Murdoch found an unexpected supporter from a competitor, The Independent on Sunday, which, in an editorial, observed that News Corp newspapers were not the only companies using hackers, blaggers and thieves. The editorial noted that authorities have discovered that similar illegal activity was carried out by law firms, insurance companies and telecoms, whose names have not been disclosed. The privilege of a shroud of secrecy over police investigations to protect the share price has not been extended to newspapers, whether owned by Mr Murdoch or not, the IOS commented.
Please run this statement: An Ofcom spokesperson said:
“Ofcom has a duty to be satisfied on an ongoing basis that the holder of a broadcasting licence is ‘fit and proper’. We would assess any new and relevant evidence that would help us discharge this duty.”