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News of the World scandal: How often do reporters pay off police?

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Report: NotW paid $160,000 in police bribes

While NotW's imminent closure has shocked many in Britain, some speculate that it was motivated not so much by a desire to atone for an ethical lapse than an effort by its patron Murdoch to save a major media deal with satellite network BSkyB.

Broadcast media regulator Ofcom is charged with deciding if News Corporation is a “fit and proper" potential owner of BSkyB. The body today sent a letter to John Whittingdale, the ruling Conservative party’s chairman of the culture, media, and sport select committee, saying it wished to be kept informed of the ongoing investigations.

Asked by the Monitor if he felt the scandal would destroy the BSkyB deal, Mr. Fitzpatrick of the NUJ said: “You would think so.”

A reported 160,000 people have contacted Culture Minister Jeremy Hunt on the proposed takeover, hoping to make their views clear.

The Guardian, which has been leading the investigation into the NotW’s use of phone hacking, reported yesterday that the newspaper paid bribes of 100,000 pounds ($160,000) in 2003 alone.

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