Murdoch’s visit came after more journalists from the UK Sun were arrested earlier this month for the police investigation into press wrongdoing. Murdoch was in the Sun’s newsroom for “more than two hours” according to the UK Telegraph. The New York Times called his visit “a gesture aimed at restoring morale.”
During the visit, Murdoch announced that the company will start publishing a weekly publication called the Sun on Sunday. According to the BBC, the launch will be “very soon.” We wrote in July of last year when it was reported that News International registered the web domain for sunonsunday.co.uk and thesunonsunday.co.uk. That is the same month the company closed News of the World down amidst growing phone hacking accusations.
He also e-mailed staff at the Sun concerning the arrests of journalists at the publication. According to the Guardian’s live blog, he wrote
“We’re doing everything we can to assist those who are arrested. All suspensions are hereby lifted until or whether charged and they are welcome to return to work. Everyone is innocent until proven otherwise.”
See his full e-mail here.
In response to Murdoch’s e-mail, attorney Geoffrey Robertson told the Guardian Feb. 18 that the e-mail is “full of legal errors.” While Murdoch said News Corp was “obligated” to provide “every piece of evidence” to the police, Robertson said that the company violates ethical norms and a 1984 police act of source protection if it provides information about the sources to police.
Robertson called the turning over of journalists’ sources “a blow to investigative journalism” and commented that it would prevent whistle blowers. We wrote earlier this week about the UK National Union of Journalists’ criticism of and questions about the turning over of source information to the police.