Last week, in a speech packed with clichés and fluff, New Limited CEO John Hartigan unveiled his organisation’s boldly original recipe for “better journalism” in the new era of media:

I believe people will pay for content if it is: original… exclusive… has the authority … and is relevant to our audiences …

We need to do a much better job of addressing our credibility in the wider community … We need to become stronger advocates for the social value of what we do, and more prepared to correct and apologise for our mistakes.

Every conversation we have about changing what we do doesn’t start with a discussion about cutting costs, it starts with a discussion about better journalism.

Today, The Guardian lifts the lid on the calibre of “better journalism” that Hartigan’s outfit, News Corporation, actually produces — as distinct from the kind of journalism its executives glorify in speeches:

Rupert Murdoch’s News Group Newspapers has paid out more than £1m to settle legal cases that threatened to reveal evidence of his journalists’ repeated involvement in the use of criminal methods to get stories.

The payments secured secrecy over out-of-court settlements in three cases that threatened to expose evidence of Murdoch journalists using private investigators who illegally hacked into the mobile phone messages of numerous public figures and to gain unlawful access to confidential personal data including tax records, social security files, bank statements and itemised phone bills. Cabinet ministers, MPs, actors and sports stars were all targets of the private investigators.

Read the Guardian’s explosive story. Read the Hartigan speech. Look at the website of the newspaper at the centre of the story, The News Of The World. Or, closer to home, look at the website of Hartigan’s pride-and-joy, the Sydney Daily Telegraph.

They report. You decide.