Following their hearing with Britain’s MP’s in London, Rupert Murdoch returned to craft an email to the 50,000 global staff across his empire, reprinted thanks to website Politico. Clearly its speed of dissemination and purpose was to send a message that the leader has a plan, that things must change. Ironically, as one of the world’s pre-eminent media and broadcasting companies, it’s a curious choice of medium considering its poor effectiveness in conveying emotion, empathy, voice or body language. Surely to mobilize people requires some inspiring pictures instead of printed words?
Here’s my analysis for CNN during the Westminster hearing of the Murdochs, captured also by CNN.com:
On how the Murdochs came across: “If you look at all of the comments they made over the course of the past three hours, what comes out loud and clear to me are two executives who appear profoundly out of touch.”
On News International using private investigators: “Some of the statements that we heard earlier (from Rupert Murdoch) … “All news organizations use private investigators,” as if that legitimizes the practice. “No, I’m not responsible for the fiasco. I trusted people.” Well, excuse me, the chief executive of a company is responsible, so Mr. Murdoch, both Mr. Murdochs, need to own what has happened in their organization. The culture is clearly broken.”
On enforcing good corporate governance: “It’s one of the things that’s interesting about this situation — if you think about Mrs. Brooks’ history, she is born and bred within the stable of News International and so in terms of promulgating a culture that is abiding by these codes of ethics we’ve heard about countless times over the past few hours … there are processes, there are codes of conduct, there are rules but interestingly where has the enforcement actually been made to make sure those rules are actually abided by by senior leaders in this business and from what I’ve heard today I can’t actually say that the company is showing evidence of that.”
On whether they’ve contained the infection: “I think that there’s still many more weeks to run of this. It’s so monumental: the scale, the scope. They hope that by retiring the News of the World brand, that the infection has been contained. I believe it’s much more widespread – it perhaps is an industry-wide practice.
On whether the News Corp. can come back from the scandal: “They can come back from this but it will take 20 years, 20 years of good practice.”
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