Last night, the UK’s Parliamentary Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport released its full report on issues surrounding phone hacking at the News of the World.
The report affords us a unique opportunity to reflect upon the mistakes we have made and further the course we have already completed to correct them.
I recognize that for all of us — myself in particular — it is difficult to read many of the report’s findings. But we have done the most difficult part, which has been to take a long, hard and honest look at our past mistakes.
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There is no easy way around this, but I am proud to say that we have been working hard to put things right.
We certainly should have acted more quickly and aggressively to uncover wrongdoing. We deeply regret what took place and have taken our share of responsibility for not rectifying the situation sooner.
To that end, News Corporation continues to cooperate with all inquiries relating to voicemail interception and improper payments to public officials. Indeed, we have gone beyond what law enforcement authorities have asked of us, to ensure not only that we are in compliance with the law, but that we adhere to the highest ethical standards.
I would also like to inform you today that the autonomous Management and Standards Committee, which was established by the Company to ensure full cooperation with all investigations, has completed its review of The Times and The Sunday Times, assisted by outside counsel, Linklaters. We found no evidence of illegal conduct other than a single incident reported months ago, which led to the discipline of the relevant employee.
Further, the Management and Standards Committee has also completed its internal review into The Sun.
News International, at the instigation of James, instituted important governance reforms.
In addition, under the guidance of Gerson Zweifach, News Corporation’s Group General Counsel, the Company is implementing a more robust global compliance structure, with expanded education, customized controls, and group compliance officers across our businesses.
Today’s report comes at a time when our business has never been stronger and we continue to demonstrate strong operational excellence focused on returning maximum value to all of our stockholders.
It is a testament to the integrity and strength of you, our more than 50,000 colleagues around the world, that we could experience such exceptional performance even in the midst of unprecedented public scrutiny. I have also never been more encouraged by your dedication and steadfast commitment to our future.
The opportunity to emerge from this difficult period a stronger, better company has never been greater and I will look to each of you to help me ensure that News Corporation’s next 60 years are more vital and successful than ever.