UK media say that two unnamed journalists from Rupert Murdoch‘s The Sun tabloid newspaper have attempted to commit suicide. Although details are sketchy and come from unnamed sources, here’s what’s being reported: The Independent newspaper says the people were senior journalists and had recently been arrested (in total, 11 current or former Sun employees have been arrested on suspicions that they bribed police for news tips). The pair has been checked into hospital and News International is paying for their care, according to Financial Times sources. Reuters, citing people close to News International, also reports the journalists appeared to have tried to take their own lives. The Sun is controlled by News Corp’s News International, which has been rocked by a phone-hacking scandal and allegations of illegal payments to public officials for information. News Corp last year established a Management and Standards Committee to oversee an internal probe and has been cooperating with the police in their ongoing investigations. Some Sun journalists were previously reported to be mulling legal action against News International that would claim their right to freedom of expression was breached when evidence about their sources was turned over to investigators, and these latest developments — though they remain unconfirmed — are unlikely to soothe tensions.
In related news, UK Attorney General Dominic Grieve is said to be looking into comments made by Sue Akers, the Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner overseeing the investigation into alleged bribery by journalists. Akers recently told the Leveson Inquiry into UK media ethics that there “appears to have been a culture at The Sun of illegal payments.” The concern over her statements is that they could prejudice future trials.
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