In the Shadow of Phone Hacking: Media Accountability Inquiries in Australia

Mine and Martin Hirst’s summary of the media accountability merry-go-round in Australia in the wake of the News of the World debacle. This is the introdcution. The full article is available in the inaugural issue of the new online journal Political Economy of Communication.

‘On July 10, 2011, Rupert Murdoch closed the News of the World, one of the biggest selling tabloids on the globe, once the newspaper had used up its store of public trust. The paper was accused of, and later admitted that a culture of illegality had engulfed its newsroom. Phones were routinely hacked and journalists paid public officials for information on celebrities and other citizens. The News of the World scandal triggered over 100 arrests of journalists, police officers, private investigators, and public officials. It also initiated a wave of inquiries into journalistic practices and standards in several countries.

This article will summarize the two inquiries into media practice and standards in Australia, and consider the impact on democratic discourse when ownership concentration of media companies reaches high levels.’