Crikey Says

Aug 21, 2014

Crikey says: why we published leaked News Corp accounts

Inside News Corp, the fallout: News sends in the lawyers, Crikey’s intrepid reporter meets CEO Julian Clarke, how News stacks up against Fairfax. Plus: why Australians can fight for the IDF. Keane on our preoccupation with terrorism. Glenn Stevens does the vision thing better than Hockey. Staff boned at the Art Gallery of NSW. Obeid off the shelves over ‘mistaken identity’. Deja vu as the ABC restructures. And Greg Hywood’s hot ride.

What’s the point of journalism? We like this definition:
“… the trust that comes from representing … readers' interests and giving them the news that's important to them … that means covering the communities where they live, exposing government or business corruption, and standing up to the rich and powerful.”
Those are the words of Rupert Murdoch, whose company, News Corp, is threatening Crikey and other media organisations with legal action because yesterday we published detailed information about News Corp that was demonstrably in the public interest. News Corp is Australia’s biggest and most influential journalism company. Its impact goes way beyond its commercial footprint. Its impact is political and societal. It is a media company that openly and often aggressively espouses the importance of disclosing information. Yesterday Crikey did what hundreds of News Corp journalists try to do every day -- find out things that are important to readers and publish them factually and in good faith. Often that information is inconvenient or embarrassing to the subjects of the coverage, and sometimes it comes in the form of leaked documents. But that rarely devalues its importance if it is true and in the public interest. News Corp publishes this kind of journalism regularly -- The Australian in particular has a history of relying on leaks to uncover the truth powerful figures would like to keep hidden. Last year, the Oz published the salary details of dozens of the ABC's best-paid journalists. This year, it published the details of a leaked consulting report that showed Fairfax had been advised to shut down 30 regional newspapers. In pursuing Clive Palmer's business dealings, the paper has relied on leaks to shed light on his business dealings with CITIC. And the investigation into Julia Gillard's activities as a lawyer also were helped along by the leaking of documents. Crikey did not hack voicemails or pay bribes for the information we published yesterday. All we did was to give our readers, in the words of Rupert Murdoch, “the news that’s important to them”.

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13 thoughts on “Crikey says: why we published leaked News Corp accounts

  1. Phen

    Hopefully some of your readers got some interest from them. Nothing interesting there as far as I’m concerned.

  2. RoseL

    Yes you did, Crikey. I’ll be renewing my subscription because of this.

  3. klewso

    I don’t think I’ll ever understand what makes Murdoch/Limited News think they have every sole Right to do what they do – and that others cannot do what they think they can get away with, especially to them – editing “public interest – as long as it suits Rupert’s”?

    “Because they’re journalists!”?
    Is it arrogance? Superciliousness? The fact they have the (“70″% hard-copy market) resources from which they can string a few words together to express their prejudices from their elite positions? Or just plain hubris?

  4. dazza

    Champions of free speech!!

  5. Alex

    News Corp should take great pride at the frequency and severity of hypocrisy they manage to achieve. It is quite remarkable!

  6. Peter Fuller

    I seem to recall Derryn Hinch referring to a definition of news (which I expect was not original to him): “news is what some-one doesn’t want revealed; the rest is advertising.”
    On that criterion your revelations yesterday were precisely what a media organisation should be publishing.

  7. Bill Hilliger

    News Corpse …thin skinned.

  8. CML

    All we really needed to know, Crikey, is that Ltd. News is going down the gurgler, and that the Murdoch monopoly will come to an end soon.

  9. David Hand

    Don’t be so precious Crikey. It’s juvenile.
    You leaked commercially sensitive information. Good on you for fearless commitment to your readers right to know ant all that.

    If you now get done over by News Corp’s lawyers, that’ too bad.

  10. 19 maurice

    News Ltd demanding spilled beans be stopped because why? Breathtaking hypocrisy

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