The Leveson Inquiry opened on November 14th 2011 and will investigate the culture, practices and ethics of the press. It is expected to release its first report in October 2012. David Cameron announced the inquiry to the House of Commons on July 6th 2011, appointing Lord Leveson as its leader on July 13th, in response to the continuing phone-hacking scandal.
News of the phone-hacking scandal first emerged in 2006, when police arrested the News of the World’s royal correspondent Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire. The royal family asked Scotland Yard to investigate after reports were written on Prince William’s medical treatments, which should have been known only to those working closely with him.
In 2009, Nick Davies, and investigative journalist at the Guardian, reported that News Group had paid to prevent revelations of other phone-hacking journalists, and that there were potentially thousands of victims. On July 4th 2011 the Guardian reported that the News of the World had hacked into and deleted the voicemails of 13-year-old murder victim Milly Dowler, causing police to believe she was still alive. The News of the World published their last edition on July 10th 2011, and many of those involved have since been arrested, including Rebekah Brooks, the editor of News of the World at the time. She was charged with three counts of perverting the course of justice, along with her husband Charlie Brooks who faces one count of perverting the course of justice, on Tuesday 15th May.
James Murdoch resigned as director of News Group Newspapers Limited on November 23rd 2011, and subsequently as Executive Chairman of News International on February 29th 2012. In the same week Rupert Murdoch announced the launch of the Sun on Sunday, seen as a replacement for News of the World.
Celebrities including Hugh Grant and Steve Coogan have reported to the inquiry, along with the parents of Madeleine McCann and several politicians. High profile journalists such as Nick Davies, Alan Rusbridger and Ian Hislop have all taken to the witness stand in a bid to create reform in journalism.
– Millie Kidson (LSMedia News Editor)
Key People of the Inquiry
The News International Web
(Data Source: BBC online)