ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Murdoch's Moment of Truth

Revulsion over a newspaper toying with a teenager's death could lead to a welcome weakening of the Murdoch empire.

On 4 July 2011 The Guardian newspaper of the United Kingdom (UK) published a report which said that a private investigator employed by News of the World (NOTW) had hacked into the mobile phone of 13-year-old Milly Dowler, when she had gone missing in Surrey in 2002. NOTW journalists had then listened to her voicemail messages and also deleted some of them, which had made her parents think that she was accessing her mobile phone and was therefore alive, when in fact she had by then been murdered.

The NOTW is part of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire which sells more than one out of every three newspapers sold in the UK. With a minority stake Murdoch also exercises management control over BSkyB, a satellite television service. For decades he has been Britain’s most powerful media baron with control over not just politicians and politics, but also over much of the cultural life in the island through his power over the public images of celebrities like sportspersons, actors, singers and even the royalty. Until last week, he was looking to take complete ownership of BSkyB.

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