..Mr Murdoch is only slowly and reluctantly embracing the standards of accountability transparency and responsibility that his editorial divisions regularly demand of other people. This is a problem for his credibility and a lesson for all media organisations."
It is not clear whether underlings were afraid to report bad news upwards or tacitly encouraged not to do so, but the system did not work.
Concern about media power and influence and the way it is exercised have been bubbling away here for ages. The issues aren't limited to News or the print media or to the conduct of journalism. For example last year's government decision to provide a $250 million benefit for commercial TV licence holders.
In particular, they should look at how our newspapers are regulated and make recommendations for the future. Of course it is vital that our press is free. That is an essential component of our democracy and our way of life. But press freedom does not mean that the press should be above the law. Yes, there is much excellent journalism in Britain today. But I think it's now clear to everyone that the way the press is regulated today is not working. Let's be honest: the Press Complaints Commission has failed. In this case – in the hacking case – it was, frankly, completely absent. Therefore, we have to conclude that it is ineffective and lacking in rigour. There is a strong case for saying it is institutionally conflicted, because competing newspapers judge each other. As a result, it lacks public confidence. So I believe we need a new system entirely. It will be for the inquiry to recommend what that system should look like. But my starting presumption is that it should be truly independent ... independent of the press, so the public will know that newspapers will never again be solely responsible for policing themselves. But vitally, independent of government, so the public will know that politicians are not trying to control or muzzle a press that must be free to hold politicians to account. This new system of regulation must strike the balance between an individual's right to privacy and what is in the public interest. And above all, it should uphold the proper, decent standards that we expect.