‘Unprecedented apology’: What News Corp.’s mea culpa says about the media

Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World apologized for hacking into private voicemail accounts. It’s about time.

But media conglomerate News Corp.’s UK newspaper division very publically apologized for the racy News of the World‘s hacking into private voicemail accounts of celebrities and sports and government figures in an attempt to uncover scoops.

News Corp., parent of The Wall Street Journal and headed by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, on Friday offered its first mea culpa on the hacking charges, which go back five years.

Leading up to the statement, News Corp.’s newspaper division had downplayed the tactics.

In its statement Friday, it offered an “unreserved apology” to victims of the phone hacking scandal.

“Here today, we publicly and unreservedly apologize to all such individuals. What happened to them should not have happened. It was and remains unacceptable.”

The division is in the process of paying out damages to some of those affected. It is not clear whether the apology has anything to do with the payouts. So far, at least publicly, no one has confirmed such a connection. British police are conducting a criminal investigation.

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