July 6, 2011 6:18:54 pm
The use of a private investigator by a Rupert Murdoch-owned daily to hack into phones for information has snowballed into a major crisis for British tabloid journalism with Prime Minister David Cameron today promising a public inquiry into the sordid affair.
New revelations that the ‘News of the World’ tabloid commissioned private investigators to access messages left in phones of celebrities has raised fresh questions about sensationalism in Britain’s tabloid press.
People whose phones were allegedly hacked include Prince William,victims of the July 7 London bombings,and victims of crime such as murdered teenager Milly Dowler,whose case was widely covered in the news media.
Calling the incident “disgusting”,Prime Minister Cameron has called for a probe into the scandal.
“We do need to have an inquiry,possibly inquiries,into what has happened. We are no longer talking here about politicians and celebrities,we are talking about murder
victims,potential terrorist victims,having their phones hacked into,” a visibly enraged Cameron said in the House of Commons today.
“It is absolutely disgusting,what has taken place,and I think everyone in this House and indeed this country will be revolted by what they have heard and what they have
seen on their television screens,” he added.
When reports of phone hacking allegedly indulged in by the News of the World appeared earlier this year,a statement was issued by Rupert Murdoch’s company apologising unreservedly to those whose cases met “specific criteria”.
However,Murdoch’s News International now faces renewed heat with new revelations that the victims of phone hacking included politicians,celebrities and also victims of crime.
Rebekah Brooks,chief executive of News International,who was the editor of News of the World when the alleged hacking took place,is reported to have been “deeply shocked” at the revelations amidst calls from politicians asking for her resignation.
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