Media Talk: John Hartigan responds to the PM

Media Talk: John Hartigan responds to PM

News Limited chairman and chief executive John Hartigan has described comments by the Prime Minister about News Limited as “unjustified and regrettable”.

The Prime Minister was reported to have said in response to the News of the World allegations: “I think Australians have been disturbed by them. I think they've been disturbed to see the reports in the UK and the kind of things that have been happening with telephone hacking and the like, and I think that does mean that Australians here look at News Limited and they've probably got some hard questions that they want answered.

In a News Limited press release, John Hartigan said: "The Prime Minister’s comments seek to draw a link between News Corporation operations in the UK and those here in Australia.  The comments were unjustified and regrettable. There is absolutely no connection between events in the UK and our business in Australia. There is no evidence that similar behaviour has occurred at News in Australia.

We have answered every question put to us on this issue openly. If the Prime Minister has more questions we would be happy to respond. No one is more appalled or is more concerned about what has happened in the UK than we are. It is an affront to everyone at News in Australia and a slur on the professionalism of our people, especially our journalists."

The PM is going to have her work cut out if point-scoring in light of NoW is going to be her media platform. Today's Australian Media headline reads, "PM slur unjustifiable: News chief'. It's murky waters between politics and the Fourth Estate; everyone's boots are getting muddied.

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