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Why Rupert Murdoch tape was leaked – tearful journalists were angry

July 6, 2013

By Roy Greenslade

I am unsurprised that a Sun journalist secretly taped the meeting with Rupert Murdoch, although it is somewhat strange that it wasn’t leaked earlier.

Though some reports suggested soon after the 6 March meeting that he had won over the assembled staff, I was told the opposite. The journalists were angry before they went in and just as angry afterwards. They were not in the least bit mollified by what he had to say.

Some of them accepted that Murdoch was sympathetic to their plight but noted that he seemed even more exercised by his own (and his company’s) plight.

They were not convinced by his pledge about their futures should they be convicted. And they were unsure whether he had taken on board two of their central complaints: why had the company provided the police with the information that led to their arrests? And why should they be scapegoats for a pre-existing newsroom culture?

It was a hugely emotional occasion. Former managing editor Graham Dudman – the major spokesman on behalf of his colleagues – eventually broke down in tears.

This followed the reading – by agony aunt Deidre Sanders – of a letter written by Alison Webster, the Page 3 photographer who is married to deputy editor Geoff Webster (who attended the meeting).

It told of a sense of betrayal and the personal dramas of the arrests. But the really moving part began with mention of a 15-year-old girl [daughter of a senior journalist] whose hair had fallen out due to stress and suicide attempts by some of the arrested journalists. Read the rest of the story at The Guardian.

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From → Analysis, Commentary

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