LONDON – Rupert Murdoch's daughter Elisabeth said Thursday that Britain's phone-hacking scandal has highlighted the need for a rigorous set of values in the media, while prompting some serious soul-searching at her father's company, News Corp.
Allegations that the News of the World, a now-closed News Corp. tabloid, hacked people's phones for scoops mushroomed into a massive scandal over the past year that has shaken Britain's media and political establishments — prompting multiple investigations and dozens of arrests.
A media ethics inquiry spawned by the scandal heard from celebrities, politicians and crime victims who said their lives had been turned upside down by press intrusion.
News Corp. is "currently asking itself some very significant and difficult questions about how some behaviors fell so short of its values," Murdoch said in a lecture at the Edinburgh International Television Festival. Her father and brother, James, also have in previous years delivered the prestigious annual MacTaggart lecture at the festival.
Murdoch, who founded the Shine TV production company now owned by News Corp., admitted that given a "dearth of integrity" in so many news institutions, it could be difficult to argue for what she called the "right outcome" from Britain's media ethics inquiry: "the fierce protection of a free press."
Earlier Thursday, British police said a 44-year-old man was arrested in an inquiry into allegations of computer hacking and privacy offenses. Scotland Yard said the man was arrested at a business address in Suffolk by officers from Operation Tuleta, one of three parallel police investigations triggered by the phone-hacking scandal.
Police said the man, who is not linked to any news organization, was detained on suspicion of offenses under the Computer Misuse Act, questioned at a local police station and later released on bail.