Murdoch-owned News Corp. is making headlines again this week, further demonstrating that unethical behavior does not pay.
The mother of a terrorism victim filed a lawsuit yesterday accusing the News of the World of hacking her son’s phone after his death. The lawsuit is the first legal action filed by a relative or victim of the 7/7 London train bombings, according to the Huffington post, but it probably won’t be the last.
The lawsuit is the latest in a long series of very public attacks against News Corp. after British investigations uncovered a slew of phone hacking, bribery and ethical violations by News of the World journalists. Charges have been levied against the media conglomerate by shareholders, victims, police, parliament and (especially) other media outlets.
This is just another lesson about the lingering effects of unethical behavior. News of the World had a daily circulation of 2.7 million before closing its doors this past August. To put that in perspective, one in every 23 people in the UK read the News of the World each day. The most-read U.S. Newspaper, the Wall Street Journal, has a daily circulation of 2.1 million. This scandal has already cost the News Corp. millions of dollars.
James Murdoch, the executive of News Corp and son of Rupert Murdoch, will head back to British parliament to testify for a second time in the upcoming days as the future of the media conglomerate remains in jeopardy. News Corp.’s mistakes should be a clear lesson to both journalists and public relations professionals: there is no room for unethical behavior in our professions.