Guess Who Confessed To Hacking Again?

Phone hacking1 Guess Who Confessed To Hacking Again?

The PR Verdict: "F" for Murdoch and public interest

Fancy that!  BSKYB the television broadcaster has fessed up to phone hacking.  Is the latest revelation from another Murdoch controlled news organization all that surprising?

Besides being astonishingly embarrassing for Murdoch, it follows on the heels of his son James’s resignation from BSKYB and increases scrutiny on a proprietor who has broken his trust with the public.  The circumstances of the cases were detailed by BSKYB,  who while acknowledging that hacking was illegal, said it was authorized by the News Editor to benefit the public interest.  SKY thundered this illegal act was only done under strict rules and for a specific purpose.  No need for us to worry then.

Next time it may be less of a hassle to simply hand over the file to the police to avoid these sorts of problems.

The PR Verdict: “F” for Murdoch (yet again) and his newly found PR strategy of claiming protection by way of public interest.  Is there any thing else to confess while we are here?

Cloaking the issue in the mantle of public interest has inherent risks.  Since when has society broadly consented to giving editors carte blanche to break the law?  Without defining the “public interest” served in this case, the waters are now muddied.  Why not simply say they were all errors of judgment?  Far simpler given the pattern and volume across Murdoch based businesses.

To read more click here.

What is your verdict? Is claiming the public interest a good PR strategy?

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Princess Caroline: Public Interest v. the Right to Privacy

Princess Caroline  2131127b 300x187 Princess Caroline: Public Interest v. the Right to Privacy

The PR Verdict: " C" for the Monaco team

Princess Caroline of Monaco was presumably licking her wounds Wednesday, having lost the legal suit she filed against German magazine Frau im Spiegel. In 2002, the magazine published a photo of the Princess and her husband on holiday, alongside an article speculating about the health of her ailing father. She promptly sued for breach of privacy.

The court denied the complaint on the basis that the health of the then reigning Prince, was a matter of general public interest.

Yesterday, the Princess’s PR and legal team declined comment after the hearing, thereby allowing the “public interest” defense to hold sway in the ensuing media coverage. Why give in so easily?

The PR Verdict: “C”. for the Monaco team.  The team could continue to argue that this issue is still not settled law. All that was needed was a brief statement by Monaco’s representative, acknowledging the importance of public interest while emphasizing the need for stronger privacy safeguards and highlighting the high level of discretion arbitrarily used in deciding what is in the public interest.

On the other hand, speculating about the health of a head of state was always going to raise claims of legitimate public interest.  Next time, find a more clearly egregious case of press over-reach, such as rifling through the royal trashcans or phone hacking.  This will give the PR boost needed and head-off a defense of public interest.

What verdict would you give the Monaco team?

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