Just a reminder that corruption is by no means unique to Indonesia. This morning the Metropolitan Police here in the UK arrested five more reporters and executives from The Sun newspaper–another paper owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News International subsidiary of News Corporation. They are being held on suspicion of making bribes to public officials, including police and Ministry of Defence officials. This brings the total arrests at The Sun to ten.
The internal politics of News Corporation is quite interesting. As suggested in this article from The Guardian, the parent company based in the US is attempting to use the investigations to “drawn the swamp” from its UK subsidiary. This could relate to its designs on the TV media market here and the need to be deemed “fit and proper” by OFCOM, the media regulator here in the UK, to own substantial media interests. Its TV interests here are far more important for the future of the company than newspapers such as The Sun (and the now defunct News of the World). The article also suggests that the parent company is far more concerned about the spread of investigations to the US and the possibility of investigations under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Here’s an extract:
The paper’s journalists are said to be furious that the arrests have been triggered by information supplied to the Yard by the Management and Standards Committee (MSC), an independent committee set up by the New York-based News Corporation, the parent company of News International. Following the first set of arrests, a News International source suggested it was intent on “draining the swamp”, a comment that provoked fury among the company’s journalists.