LONDON – Rupert Murdoch's scandal-hit News International confirmed Tuesday it is reviewing journalistic standards across the company, a U.K. media empire that includes The Times of London newspaper.
The British newspaper arm of Murdoch's global empire has been shaken by widespread allegations of illegal behavior at the now-defunct News of the World tabloid, once Britain's most popular Sunday paper. More than a dozen News of the World journalists and executives have been arrested over claims that they systematically intercepted mobile phone messages and illegally paid police for tips.
Allegations of wrongdoing at other U.K. newspapers have since spread a cloud of suspicion over the entire U.K. media industry. The publishers of the Daily Mirror and the Daily Mail, which both compete with Murdoch's papers, have announced their own, separate reviews of editorial procedure in the wake of the scandal.
An independent inquiry led by a British judge is also due to put the country's press under the microscope beginning next month.
In a statement, News International said its internal review was launched "a number of weeks ago" and was being carried out with the assistance of London law firm, Linklaters. It said the review was under the control of News Corp. independent director Viet Dinh and Murdoch advisor Joel Klein, both of whom have served as U.S. assistant attorney generals, as well as the company's management and standards committee.
News International is a wholly-owned subsidiary of News Corp.
The statement gave few further details, but a person familiar with the matter confirmed that the review would examine News International publications including the 226-year-old Times, its sister-publication the Sunday Times, and The Sun, Britain's biggest-selling daily.
The person, who requested anonymity because she wasn't authorized to speak publicly on the matter, said the news had been widely circulated internally in the last month.
Linklaters did not immediately return messages seeking comment.