What makes James Desborough's arrest especially nerve-wracking for News Corp. is the fact that shortly after the activities that he was arrested for took place in England, he moved to Los Angeles to become U.S. Editor for that same Murdoch newspaper.
Media professionals should not squander the opportunity to take note of the more profoundly damaging scandal that Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has wrought. That is the damage it has done to their profession and to the institution of journalism itself.
It's far too early to tell yet how the UK newspaper industry is going to emerge once all this over. One interesting question to contemplate is, will the current crisis lead to a fundamental shift in our support for newspapers?
Full-page newspaper ads and personal apologies to the victims of this scandal look impressive. But post-recession consumers, who are more aware of the character of a parent company than ever before, are unlikely to be persuaded by gestures.
Murdoch's job goes far beyond keeping track of the scoops and scandals of his employees. He is the CEO, the man at the top responsible for setting the tone and culture that drives the conduct of everyone in the organization.
It is quite ironic that the same week the news about the News of the World hacking was finally breaking, Congress held a hearing on data retention, the proposal that Internet service providers be required to retain customer information.