Australia to probe media after hacking scandal

13th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Australia on Tuesday said it would hold a media inquiry following the British hacking scandal which sank Rupert Murdoch's best-selling tabloid News of the World.

A spokesman for Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said the scope of the inquiry was yet to finalised but the ruling Labor party had decided that a probe was required.

"What's been agreed is that we're going to have an inquiry into media and media ownership," the spokesman told AFP.

"The terms of reference are still being negotiated. We're going to make an announcement when we're done, but it's imminent."

Labor faced intense calls for an official review of Australia's media after the phone hacking scandal, which saw News Corp chairman Murdoch drop his bid for satellite broadcaster BSkyB and front a grilling by British MPs.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard warned Murdoch's Australian arm News Limited, a dominant player in the press baron's home nation, that it faced some "hard questions" following the British firestorm.

Murdoch controls about two-thirds of Australia's regional and metropolitan newspapers, has a stake in broadcasters Sky News and Fox Sports, and is angling to run the Australia Network, the international public TV channel.

Fairfax Media is the other key player in Australia.

© 2011 AFP

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