Listening Post
The days that shook Murdoch's media world
The tale of tabloid phone hacking that has rocked the foundations of Britain's political and media establishment.
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2011 18:07

Earlier this month, the UK's Guardian newspaper published allegations that the country's leading weekly tabloid the News of the World had hired a private investigator who accessed and deleted messages from a murdered teenager's voicemail.

The revelations - the latest twist in the ever-unfolding phone hacking scandal - caused a huge public outcry. They have led to the publication's parent company, News Corporation, and its owner Rupert Murdoch pulling the plug, at least for now, on the planned takeover of Britain's biggest broadcaster, BSkyB.

But many questions remain unanswered: How complicit were the police, politicians and prosecutors in this story? Did they attempt to cover up the scandal? Was the executive body of NewsCorp aware of what was happening? And how will it affect the Murdoch dynasty's role in British journalism?

Our News Divide this week looks at a tale of tabloid phone hacking and how it is rocking the very foundations of Britian's political and media establishments.

Does Britain's print media have the ability to self-regulate? Should it face more stringent regulations like the country's broadcast media? And has Rupert Murdoch been a force for good in British journalism? We substitute our NewsByte section this week to debate these questions with one of the few defenders of the UK's tabloid culture, renowned author and journalist Toby Young.

One of the functions of the first satellites launched at the height of the Cold War, was to give the US and the former Soviet Union the ability to spy on each other from outer space. Now, these satellites are becoming powerful tools for journalism.

Commercial satellite companies began selling their product in the 1980s but the hi-tech imagery, for the most part, remained the preserve of governments and well-funded news organisations. Then, in 2005 when Google Earth launched, high-resolution imagery became available to the masses and it was not just governments and journalists poring over it, but any number of the 700 million users who downloaded the software.

In this week's feature Listening Post's Meenakshi Ravi looks at the fusion of satellite imagery and the media, and how it is changing the way we see the world.

Our Internet Video of the Week is a tribute song to the current News of the World tabloid scandal. In Britain, people from Liverpool are known as 'Scousers'. Since 1989 they have vehemently refused to read the Sun, another Murdoch owned newspaper, after its scandalous coverage of the Hillsborough Stadium disaster in the same year. Billy Bragg is a British songwriter known for his political activism. The chorus of his latest song is dedicated to the Scouser boycott of the Sun, but the rest of it touches upon some pretty relevant issues in the current tabloid scandal debate.


Listening Post can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Saturday: 0830, 1930; Sunday: 1430; Monday: 0430.

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