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Scandal Brings an End to 168 year-old ‘News of the World’

The empire that Rupert Murdoch built continues to crumble a bit as the Murdoch-owned British tabloid, News of the World, remains under fire for allegedly hacking into the voicemail of many public figures and other subjects of its reporting.

The 168-year-old tabloid announced that it would shut down amidst the scrutiny and allegations it has received for the past five years.

The move was a scramble to salvage what was left of the tabloid’s reputation.

James Murdoch, son of Rupert Murdoch and chairman to News Corp, was quoted as saying, “News of the World is in the business of holding others to account. But it failed when it came to itself. Wrongdoers turned a good newsroom bad and this was not fully understood or adequately pursued.”

Once seen as an asset to its parent company, News Corp, the tabloid’s reputation has reversed itself at lightning speed.

The statement made by Murdoch, along with other efforts such as donating the tabloid’s profits to charities—however carefully calculated; serve as last ditch efforts to regain the integrity lost by the brand.

Reputation is not the only facet of the company impacted by the scandal.

After multiple firings, the question still remains of where to place blame. While the dishonesty of those closest to the scandal—the reporters and editors, can certainly be held accountable, the Murdoch family itself and others at the head of the company are also being called into question.

At least one of Rupert Murdoch’s current business acquisitions is in jeopardy because of the controversy.

Murdoch was in the process of bidding on the satellite broadcasting company, BskyB before the scandal broke, but Prime Minister David Cameron’s office said the British government would vote to support a motion asking Murdoch to withdraw his bid.

Whether it be the inability to provide adequate leadership for such a large corporation–or just pure negligence, it is clear that certain measures must be taken to ensure resilience from these types of scandals.

The relentless mission of securing your assets, protecting your people and strengthening your brand is never a responsibility that wanes or can be delegated. Integrity starts and ends at the top – what are you doing today to protect your brand?

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