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Rupert Murdoch phone-hacking scandal: US connections grow

In London Saturday, Rupert Murdoch issued full-page apologies for the phone-hacking scandal that has hit his media empire. Critics say his free-wheeling and politically conservative approach may have affected US journalism as well.

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The Times, Sun, Guardian, Financial Times, Independent, Daily Mail, and Daily Telegraph newspapers are displayed featuring an apology from News Corp chairman and chief executive officer Rupert Murdoch, in London Saturday. News Corp is trying to quell the uproar over a phone-hacking scandal that has shaken the company and claimed its top two newspaper executives.

Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

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Media mogul Rupert Murdoch is used to ruling his vast publishing and broadcasting empire with transcontinental authority.

But today, he finds himself in an unusual and no doubt uncomfortable position: Having to issue a series of apologies for his organization’s “serious wrongdoing” as he watches some of his top lieutenants leave under fire.

Meanwhile, critics muse that Mr. Murdoch’s free-wheeling and politically conservative hand in British reporting may have influenced American journalism as well – particularly in the well-regarded Wall Street Journal, whose parent company Dow Jones was acquired by Murdoch’s News Corp. in 2007.

In seven national newspapers Saturday, Murdoch apologized to the British public for the unethical and possibly illegal activities his now-defunct Sunday tabloid News of the World carried out in the name of journalism – including charges of phone hacking and bribery of police officials.

"We are sorry," Murdoch says in full-page ads, which are scheduled to run Sunday and Monday as well. "The News of the World was in the business of holding others to account. It failed when it came to itself. We are sorry for the serious wrongdoing that occurred. We are deeply sorry for the hurt suffered by the individuals affected."

A day earlier, Murdoch met personally with the family of Milly Dowler, the murdered British teenager whose cell phone voice mail allegedly was hacked by News of the World employees.

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