November 28th, 2011
10:08 AM ET

Charlotte Church calls Murdoch tabloid 'horrific'

Singer Charlotte Church Monday blasted the News of the World tabloid for its decision to publish a lurid story about her father having an affair while her mother was getting treatment for mental illness.

"They knew how vulnerable she was and still printed a story like that, which is just horrific," she said.

The former child star also spoke of her anger at finding out her phone may have been hacked by a private investigator working for the Rupert Murdoch tabloid.

The investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, had details of her phone and those of her parents, friends and former boyfriends, Church said police had told her.


Filed under: Charlotte Church • Media • Rupert Murdoch
October 13th, 2011
01:00 PM ET

Wall Street Journal Europe executive out in scandal

A top executive at the company that publishes the Wall Street Journal left Dow Jones this week amid allegations that the paper's European edition used underhanded methods to boost circulation figures, the newspaper itself reported Thursday.

Andrew Langhoff, the executive, left on Tuesday, following an internal probe which found he had pushed for two articles favorable to a company involved in the alleged circulation subterfuge, the paper said.

The Guardian, a rival newspaper, alleged that the Journal's publisher secretly directed funds to the company that was buying copies of the paper in bulk.

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Filed under: Europe • Media
Phone-hacking inquiry to demand more testimony on News Corp. actions
Former News Corp. executive Les Hinton leaving the London home of News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch in July 2011.
September 13th, 2011
07:49 AM ET

Phone-hacking inquiry to demand more testimony on News Corp. actions

[Updated at 7:49 a.m. ET] Former senior News Corp. executive Les Hinton is being recalled to testify before a parliamentary committee over a phone-hacking scandal involving journalists at the now defunct News of the World newspaper, a spokesman for the panel said Tuesday.

The Culture, Media and Sport Committee is also "highly likely" to recall News International chief executive James Murdoch - who gave evidence before the parliamentary committee in July alongside his father Rupert - to face fresh questions from lawmakers, the spokesman said.

A News Corp. spokesman told CNN James Murdoch was "happy to appear in front of the committee again to answer any further questions members might have."

Hinton - one of Rupert Murdoch's longest-standing employees - resigned as head of News Corp.'s Dow Jones unit and publisher of The Wall Street Journal in July.

He was formerly chief executive of News International, the British arm of News Corp. which published News of the World.


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Filed under: Media • News of the World • United Kingdom
Toddler does Dolly: Where's the line between dress-up, hyper-sexualization?
In an episode of TLC's "Toddlers and Tiaras" Maddy Jackson uses a padded bra for her Dolly Parton outfit.
September 2nd, 2011
12:22 PM ET

Toddler does Dolly: Where's the line between dress-up, hyper-sexualization?

TLC's "Toddlers and Tiaras" has no doubt been the subject of massive verbal barbs from viewers and online users when it comes to the way young females are being portrayed on the show.

It started with spray tanning and slightly edgy outfits. But the outrage is growing as the latest round of debate is making many people's heads spin. The latest call for action centers on a mother's decision to allow her 4-year-old child to wear fake padded breasts and padding on her behind in an attempt to play out the role of Dolly Parton on the show.

"This makes me want to puke," one Twitter user wrote.

The "Toddlers and Tiaras" flap is the latest in a seemingly endless line of stories about the level of appropriateness when it comes to how young girls should be dressing and how companies are marketing to them. There was the breastfeeding children's doll that caused uproar. There was the 10-year-old star of an editorial in Vogue Paris that also caused a media firestorm because of her suggestive photo shoot. Then there was the lingerie line made for young girls that made people's jaws drop.

Now people are asking, "What exactly is going on with the pervasive need to over sexualize children?"

Has there been a change in culture and our perception of what's acceptable? Or is it just a case of how far can you push the envelope?

Where do you draw the line in the sand?

For many people, it seems that line is with Maddy Jackson, 4, and her extra padding on TLC.


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Filed under: Media • Showbiz • TV
Gotta Watch: Hurricane-ravaged reporters
Hurricane Irene churns toward the east coast and is sure to create some memorable reporting moments.
August 26th, 2011
11:48 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Hurricane-ravaged reporters

Hurricane coverage generally means plenty of reporters in the rain.  They tell you to steer clear of the storm and seek shelter when they're planning to do the exact opposite. It seems odd, right? All this hurricane talk reminded us of other memorable weather moments. You've gotta watch these correspondents tackle fierce winds, heavy rain and flying debris. And don't worry, it's OK to laugh. We won't judge you.

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Filed under: Environment • Flooding • Gotta Watch • Hurricanes • Media • Natural Disasters • Nature • Tropical weather • TV • Weather
On the Radar: SCRABBLE finals, News Corp. earnings, stadium beating
Play goes on during Day 4 of the National SCRABBLE Championship Tuesday in Dallas.
August 10th, 2011
06:12 AM ET

On the Radar: SCRABBLE finals, News Corp. earnings, stadium beating

Three things you need to know today.

SCRABBLE championship: America's SCRABBLE champion will be crowned in Texas on Wednesday afternoon.

Jesse Day, a Berkeley, California, graduate student, holds a slim lead over Nigel Richards, a former SCRABBLE national and world champion from Malaysia, and Kenji Matsumoto, from Aiea, Hawaii, as the competition heads into the final day of play.

Twenty-eight rounds have been completed and three will be played on Wednesday. The winner gets a $10,000 prize.

Nearly 350 players have been involved in the National SCRABBLE Championship at the Hotel InterContinental Dallas.

You can follow the play live online. Play begins at 10 a.m. ET and finishes around 3:30 p.m. ET.

News Corp.: News Corp. will release its fiscal year-end earnings report Wednesday, likely thrusting embattled chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch back into the spotlight after a brief respite.

A phone-hacking scandal that has brought a 168-year-old newspaper to its end and caused a parliamentary investigation in the United Kingdom will likely draw attention to a routine report that is usually only combed over by stockholders.

A key group of News Corp. investors is calling for the company to separate the roles of chairman and CEO, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday. The group also wants the majority of the company's board of directors to be independent, according to the report.

Dodger Stadium beating: Two California men are scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday morning in Los Angeles on charges relating to the beating of a San Francisco Giants fan in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium in March.

The victim, Bryan Stow, is still hospitalized with a traumatic brain injury, a hospital spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Marvin Norwood, 30, and Louie Sanchez, 29, both of Rialto, California, are each charged with mayhem, assault and battery, and all three charges are felonies, according to the complaint provided by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Sanchez is also charged with two misdemeanor counts - one for battery and the other for assault - against two other persons on the same day, according to the complaint.

Sanchez and Norwood, arrested at their San Bernardino County homes July 21, are being held on $500,000 bail each, the prosecutor's office said.

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Filed under: Business • Crime • Games • Media • On the Radar
British lawmakers want clarifications from Murdoch, others
July 29th, 2011
11:02 AM ET

British lawmakers want clarifications from Murdoch, others

James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks, who had testified before a British parliamentary committee regarding the UK phone hacking scandal, have been asked to clarify some of their testimony, a lawmaker said Friday.

John Whittingdale said that the parliamentary committee has written letters to Murdoch, Brooks, and others to request "more information" about their testimony. He made the statement at a news conference on another topic.

The request stems from claims by a former editor of the News of the World and the paper's former head of legal affairs, Colin Myler and Tom Crone, that Murdoch had been "mistaken" in his testimony regarding an important piece of evidence.

Myler and Crone also were sent letters from the committee, Whittingdale said. A former News International director of legal affairs who also alleged mistakes, Jon Chapman, was also to receive a letter.

A motion to have Murdoch and the others return to testify in person was voted down by the committee, Whittingdale said.

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Filed under: Media • News of the World • United Kingdom
A calm in the Murdoch storm: What's brewing on the horizon?
A look at how the Murdoch Parliament testimony appeared in papers in Australia, where Murdoch also has a stake in the media.
July 27th, 2011
06:56 PM ET

A calm in the Murdoch storm: What's brewing on the horizon?

In the week since News International executives answered questions from Britain's Parliament on the UK phone hacking scandal, the frenzy has died down a bit, perhaps allowing Rupert Murdoch and his minions to direct the news rather than react to it.

Gone are the daily live blogs and Parliament has been in recess. In the past few days, stories about the troubles of Murdoch's News of the World have not been splashed across front pages as dominantly.

The much-needed time could be exactly what News Corp. needs ahead of some big meetings. And it gives us a chance to see where things stand and where they might be headed.


Twitter rages: Murdoch's Times of London famine cartoon 'most offensive' thing yet?
An editorial cartoon in the Rupert Murdoch-owned Times of London is causing some outrage on Twitter.
July 21st, 2011
11:45 AM ET

Twitter rages: Murdoch's Times of London famine cartoon 'most offensive' thing yet?

If you thought the outrage over the phone-hacking scandal was starting to die down, The Times of London, one of Rupert Murdoch's own papers, may have brought it straight back into the spotlight.

An editorial cartoon published Thursday morning in the paper with the title "Priorities" shows starving people in Somalia saying "We've had a bellyful of phone-hacking ... " It's causing quite a firestorm on Twitter. You can access the newspaper's site here, but you won't be able to get past the pay wall without a subscription. The paper has not yet returned calls for comment.

The Guardian's Deputy Editor Katharine Viner (@KathViner) tweeted a link to a photo of the cartoon this morning and asked what people thought of it.

And boy, did she get a response. From regular citizens in the U.S. and UK, to politicians, media specialists and PR folks, the responses are rolling in at a mile a minute.

The responses generally fall in one of two directions: utter disgust or the notion that while the cartoon makes a point, having it come from a Murdoch-owned newspaper makes it just straight ridiculous. For some, it's being seen as an attempt to try to get readers to move away from the story and focus on something else.

The cartoon does come a day after the questioning of British Prime Minister David Cameron, who has also become a part of the phone-hacking story, during which several UK lawmakers argued that perhaps it was time to move on to more pressing issues.


July 19th, 2011
07:09 PM ET

Phone-hacking hearing: Key moments

Media magnate Rupert Murdoch, his son James Murdoch and former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks faced tough questioning Tuesday from British lawmakers investigating a phone-hacking scandal that threatens to engulf the News Corp. media empire.

Here are some key moments of the day.

Rupert Murdoch:

"I was absolutely shocked, appalled and ashamed when I heard about the Milly Dowler case," he said, referring to the slain British schoolgirl whose voice mail the News of the World is accused of hacking.

"No," he said, when asked if he was responsible for the scandal. When asked who did he think was responsible he said: "The people that I trusted, and then maybe the people they trusted."

How did Rupert Murdoch do in the hot seat?

James Murdoch:

"I have no knowledge and there is no evidence that I'm aware of that Mrs. Brooks or Mr. (Les) Hinton or any of those executives had knowledge of that ... . Nonetheless those resignations have been accepted, but it's important on the basis that there is no evidence today, that I have seen or have any knowledge of, that there was any impropriety," he said in reference to whether the recent resignations at News Corp. executives was because they knew of phone-hacking incidents.

Rebekah Brooks:

"I can say that I have never paid a policeman myself. I've never sanctioned or knowingly sanctioned a payment to a police officer."

"The suggestion that Milly Dowler voicemails was intercepted by someone working for the News Of the World or someone on the  News Of the World was unknown to me, it's abhorrent to me and that's all I can tell you."

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Filed under: Media • Politics • World
Live Blog: Murdochs, Brooks, police testify in phone-hacking scandal
Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks testifies at a UK hearing.
July 19th, 2011
02:12 PM ET

Live Blog: Murdochs, Brooks, police testify in phone-hacking scandal

Editor's Note: Watch live coverage of Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks answering questions before the British Parliament in the phone-hacking scandal on, the CNN apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and selected Nokia handsets internationally.

[Updated at 6:16 p.m. GMT, 2:16 p.m. ET]  Bit of a twist at the end – and an intriguing cliffhanger request from Brooks.

At the end of her session, she asked that, when she is freed from legal constraints – remember, she has been arrested and bailed – she be invited back again to be questioned by the committee. Committee members said they were fine with that.

And with that, Brooks left the hearing.


On the Radar: Murdoch testimony, debt ceiling, heat wave, Vick, Gaza
News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch faces tough questioning Tuesday from British lawmakers in the phone-hacking scandal.
July 19th, 2011
08:36 AM ET

On the Radar: Murdoch testimony, debt ceiling, heat wave, Vick, Gaza

Hacking scandal: Media baron Rupert Murdoch, his son James and former News of the World CEO Rebekah Brooks are to be quizzed today by Parliament on the phone-hacking scandal and other allegations facing News International. Sir Paul Stephenson, who has resigned as chief of the London Metropolitan Police, testifies first before the Home Affairs Select Committee, followed by Scotland Yard communications director Dick Federico and John Yates, the assistant police commissioner who quit Monday.

Follow CNN's live blog of the testimony


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Filed under: Africa • Crime • Kenya • Media • News of the World • On the Radar • United Kingdom • Weather
July 18th, 2011
02:26 PM ET

Phone-hacking whistle-blower found dead

One of the first journalists to go on the record and allege phone hacking at News of the World was found dead Monday, the British Press Association said.

Sean Hoare, a former News of the World employee, "was discovered at his home in Watford, Hertfordshire, after concerns were raised about his whereabouts," the press association said.

"The death is being treated as 'unexplained, but not thought to be suspicious,'" the report quoted Hertfordshire police as saying.

He had publicly accused the paper of phone-hacking and using "pinging" - a method of tracking someone's cell phone using technology that only police and security officials could access - according to the New York Times.

Hoare was one of the few sources who allowed his name to be used when speaking to the Times last year for an investigative report about allegations of phone-hacking by the British tabloid.

In his remarks, he specifically accused Andy Coulson - former editor of News of the World, who went on to become Prime  Minister David Cameron's communications director - of wrongdoing.


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Filed under: Media • News of the World • United Kingdom
Ex-editor arrested in UK hacking scandal
July 17th, 2011
11:59 AM ET

Ex-editor arrested in UK hacking scandal

Former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks was arrested Sunday in connection with British police investigations into phone hacking and police bribery, her spokesman told CNN.

She is being quizzed by police in London after having come in by appointment, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said.

Brooks did not know she was going to be arrested when she arrived, her spokesman Dave Wilson said.

She resigned on Friday as chief executive of Rupert Murdoch's News International, which published the News of the World.

Timeline of News of the World scandal
News of the World’s owner, News International, said Thursday that it will shut down the newspaper after Sunday's issue.
July 16th, 2011
07:44 AM ET

Timeline of News of the World scandal

Accusations that journalists at Rupert Murdoch’s UK newspapers hacked into the phones of politicians, celebrities and innocent people caught up in the news – including child murder victims – has severely bruised his media empire.

It has forced the closure of Britian’s biggest-selling paper, a withdrawal for his bid for the broadcaster BSkyB and the resignation of his trusted UK chief executive Rebekah Brooks.

The following is a timeline of the scandal:

November 2005 – News of the World prints a story about Prince William injuring his knee, prompting royal officials to complain to police about probable voice mail hacking.

January 2007 – News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire are convicted of conspiracy to hack into phone voice mails of royals and are jailed. Andy Coulson, the paper's editor, claims to be unaware of hacking but still resigns.

July 2007 – Goodman and Mulcaire sue the tabloid for wrongful dismissal. Goodman receives ÂŁ80,000 and Mulcaire receives an undisclosed amount.


Filed under: Media • United Kingdom
Dow Jones CEO steps down
July 15th, 2011
04:39 PM ET

Dow Jones CEO steps down

Les Hinton has resigned as chief executive officer of Dow Jones & Co. in the wake of News Corp.'s phone-hacking scandal.

The resignation makes Hinton the second News Corp. executive to step down Friday. Rebekah Brooks stepped down as CEO of News International, the corporate parent of News of the World, earlier in the day.

The development also comes on the same day that media giant Rupert Murdoch began a campaign of contrition and reform, apologizing to the family of a murdered British teenager whose voicemail allegedly was hacked by staffers of a now-defunct newspaper he owned.

News of the World Staffers were accused of intercepting messages in search of news. They then allegedly deleted messages to keep Milly Dowler's mailbox from filling up, giving her family and friends false hope that the schoolgirl was still alive.

Some of the claims Brooks faces relate to the News of the World's alleged hacking, while she was editor, into Dowler's mobile phone account.

Who is Rebekah Brooks?

Police in the United Kingdom have identified almost 4,000 potential targets of phone hacking. There were also allegations that News Corp. reporters may have bribed law enforcement officers.

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Filed under: Media
Source: FBI launches investigation into Murdoch's News Corp.
July 14th, 2011
04:01 PM ET

Source: FBI launches investigation into Murdoch's News Corp.

The FBI has launched an investigation into Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. amid allegations that employees or associates may have hacked into phone conversations and voicemail of September 11 survivors, victims and their families, a federal law enforcement source told CNN.

"We are aware of the allegations and are looking into them," said the source, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the investigation.

"We'll be looking at anyone acting for or on behalf of News Corp., from the top down to janitors," to gather information and determine whether any laws may have been broken.

Because the investigation just began, it's too early to say when the first interviews will be conducted, the source said. New York Rep. Peter T. King, a Republican, earlier this week asked FBI Director Robert Mueller to investigate the possibility that journalists working for Murdoch may have tapped into the phones of 9/11 victims and relatives.

News Corp. said Thursday it had no comment on the FBI investigation or possible congressional hearings.

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Filed under: Crime • Media
On the Radar: Heat wave, Clemens trial, deficit talks, economy, N. Ireland, hacking
Max, a red-nose pit bull, cools off in New York's Columbus Circle fountain Tuesday as temperatures soar.
July 13th, 2011
07:53 AM ET

On the Radar: Heat wave, Clemens trial, deficit talks, economy, N. Ireland, hacking

Heat wave - A blistering heat wave retreated to the south Wednesday, bringing some relief to the Ohio Valley and Northeastern United States. The number of states under heat advisories has diminished to 12 - half the number earlier in the week. Dangerous heat is expected across parts of northern Texas through Thursday evening, according to the National Weather Service. Other states still sweltering under heat advisories are Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South and North Carolina, and Virginia.

Roger Clemens trial - A federal jury in Washington are set to hear opening statements Wednesday in Roger Clemens' perjury trial. The former baseball star is accused of lying to a congressional panel about whether he'd ever used steroids.


UK lawmakers want to question Murdoch over phone hacking
Media magnate Rupert Murdoch is driven Tuesday to his London apartment, photographers in pursuit.
July 12th, 2011
09:20 AM ET

UK lawmakers want to question Murdoch over phone hacking

British lawmakers investigating a phone hacking scandal Tuesday asked media baron Rupert Murdoch, his son James, and former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks to testify before them, hours after former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown accused their newspaper group of illegally obtaining private information about him.

Parliament's Culture, Media and Sport Committee asked the three to appear next Tuesday, July 19, a representative told CNN.

"Senior executives" of Murdoch's British newspaper company "will cooperate," News International said in a statement, without specifying names.

If the Murdochs and Brooks do not answer the summons, parliament can compel them to do so, Labour lawmaker Chris Bryant - who believes he is a hacking victim - said on Twitter.

Brown Tuesday accused Murdoch's newspapers of having "links with criminals" as he spoke to the BBC about allegations the Sunday Times illegally obtained private information about him.

Brown accused the paper of getting his bank details, saying he was "genuinely shocked" by its methods.

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Filed under: Media
Philadelphia Inquirer offers free tablet computers
A Motorola tablet runs the Android system.
July 11th, 2011
12:00 PM ET

Philadelphia Inquirer offers free tablet computers

Newspapers are looking to become the biggest thing on tablets since the Ten Commandments, and the Philadelphia Inquirer is hoping to keep its product relevant by selling it with free Android devices.

Publisher Greg Osberg announced Monday that the Philadelphia Media Network will begin providing free Android tablets for digital subscribers to the Inquirer and to the Philadelphia Daily News, according to a news release. This initiative is part of a $250,000 Knight Foundation grant to pursue digital journalism.

The initiative is called Project Liberty. The Philadelphia Media Network will partner with Drexel University, DreamIt Ventures and the Philadelphia Foundation to develop new technology for digital media, according to the news release.

Plans for the free tablets are still in development, and the specifics for the devices are still to be determined.

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Filed under: Business • Media • Technology
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