World Phone Hacking Scandal
In March of 2002, Milly Dowler, a 13 year old student, was abducted and later murdered. From the time of the abduction until her body was found in September of that year, her family and friends had maintained hope through the fact that Milly’s voicemails were being deleted, giving them hope that Milly may have still been alive. However, in July of 2011, it was reported that it was in fact reporters from the Rupert Murdoch owned News of the World paper checking the phone messages and inadvertently deleting them. This was when the public became aware of an ongoing investigation into a scandal that had started years before.
Every corporation faces ethical decisions on a daily basis, including the news media. While a news outlet may not have
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In May of 2012, Rebekah Brooks was arrested for phone hacking and bribery adding to a long list of individuals that have been charged in the scandal (Guardian, 2012). With an owner such as Murdoch pushing to get information in any way possible, it is easy to see how employees of the News of the World paper could get caught up in the organizational factors of obedience to authority, doing what they are told and what they see as a norm around the office (Ferrell, 2011).
There were many victims in the News of the World phone hacking scandal. Milly’s family was given a false sense of hope that their daughter was still alive. Security was compromised in the flow of private information at Buckingham Palace. Those who were victims of the July 7th London bombings and the September 11th attacks had their voicemail boxes and cell phone records broken into. Because of the methodologies that the News of the World used, people were made to feel as though they had been violated, that their information was no longer secure and their conversations no longer private. Media outlets realized how they had been getting scooped and that Murdoch had been playing an unfair advantage, raising questions about legal and ethical practices in journalism (Pressman, 2011). Due to the actions and philosophies of one individual, society as a whole was negatively impacted.
There were alternative ethical