British PM Says Relationship Between Media and Politicians is to Cozy

Posted June 14th, 2012 at 7:05 am (UTC-5)
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British Prime Minister David Cameron has gone before a media ethics panel to testify about his relationship with media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

Mr. Cameron told the government-funded, independent panel that politicians and the media have had a too close relationship for the past two decades. He says there needs to be more transparency and better regulations need to be in place because the current system does not work.

Prime Minister Cameron says his policies are based on belief and not the demands of or relations with an media editor. But, he admits, within the political system, favoritism toward the media does happen.

Prime Minister Cameron ordered the court inquiry last July, after Murdoch's News of the World tabloid was accused of hacking the phone of a murdered schoolgirl and the phones of major politicians and celebrities.

Mr. Cameron's relationship with Murdoch gained scrutiny after Mr. Cameron hired former News of the World editor Andy Coulson as his communications chief.

Coulson now faces corruption charges in connection with the phone hacking scandal.

Shortly after the phone hacking allegations became public, Murdoch closed the News of the World.

The hacking allegations against News of the World trace back several years. In 2007, a News of the World reporter and a private investigator hired by the paper were jailed for intercepting the cell phone messages of British royal officials. The tabloid also is accused of hacking the phones of politicians and celebrities.

Some critics of the original investigation have suggested London police were too close to the newspaper, a claim the police deny.