Lauren Bloom has a business ethics blog and regularly comments on ethical issues often concentrating on such issues as keeping your business out of court. As of today, Lauren Bloom has written four different posting on the scandals afflicting Murdoch’s media empire.
The first one was on July 8th and was entitled – We all bear some blame for The News of the World.
This is the concluding paragraph –
Until now, there’s been an unspoken assumption that rich and famous people, be they rock stars or Royals, deserve to have their dirty laundry aired in public if some clever reporter can sleuth it out. (I disagree, but that’s another post.) TNoW is suddenly being castigated for crossing the line by spying on ordinary people’s grief and worry, but who are we kidding here? TNoW only went after the stories its customers wanted to read. Was TNoW a vile scandal sheet whose management deserves to be raked over the coals for unethical journalism? You bet. But until consumers have the good taste and decency to turn away from that kind of garbage, it’s only a matter of time before another tabloid steps up to take TNOW’s place.
The second posting was on July 14th and was entitled – Thank you, Rupert Murdoch!
Once again, I quote the concluding paragraph –
For someone who thinks ethics in business are important, Murdoch’s tumble is pure gold. I don’t have to argue in the abstract that ethical lapses can cause a business to lose buckets of money and important opportunities. I can just point to Murdoch – his story tells it all.
The third posting was on July 15 and has the title – Don’t look the other way
This paragraph probably conveys the essence of that essay.
It can be tempting for executives to look the other way when employees play fast and loose, especially if those employees create a competitive advantage for the company. Ultimately, however, those same executives will be held responsible when their employees’ misconduct becomes public. Rebekah Brooks just took a hard fall from grace, and Rupert Murdoch himself may not be far behind. News Corporation shareholders are already threatening a lawsuit. This scandal will cost the Murdoch empire millions in legal fees, to say nothing of the harm to its reputation and the value of its stock.
The fourth and most current is today’s posting – Rupert, you just don’t get it!
This is her concluding remarks – pretty tough.
Murdoch wasn’t responsible for overseeing each of the many employees who work for News Corporation’s dozens of media outlets. But he was responsible for establishing and ethical corporate culture, ensuring that employees received reasonable oversight, and interceding when allegations of serious staff misconduct surfaced five years ago. Rumor has it that News Corporation’s stockholders are furious about management decisions that undermined the credibilityof the corporation and, with it, its stock price. They’re likely to demand Murdoch’s head on a platter, and I’ll bet they’ll eventually get it. Pride goeth, Mr. Murdoch … and it seems that you’re in for one heck of a fall.
I recommend you read all four postings, put Ms. Bloom’s web site on your favorites and consider subscribing.