The News Corporation boss is in full-on contrition mode today — now being under the strict PR guidance of Edelman and all — after finally having allowed the resignation of News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, with more casualties like to come. For his part, Murdoch personally apologized today to the family of Milly Dowler, the 13-year-old U.K. murder victim whose voicemail was hacked at the hands of Murdoch’s employees while she was missing. More generally, Murdoch and co. are using a full-page newspaper ad in every British newspaper this weekend to ask for the forgiveness of readers. Full text after the jump.
Murdoch’s plea features his signature at the bottom and in giant font, splayed across the top: “We are sorry.”
The News of the World was in the business of holding others to account. It failed when it came to itself.
We are sorry for the serious wrongdoing that occurred. We are deeply sorry for the hurt suffered by the individuals affected. We regret not acting faster to sort things out.
I realise that simply apologising is not enough.
Our business was founded on the idea that a free and open press should be a positive force in society. We need to live up to this.
In the coming days, as we take further concrete steps to resolve these issues and make amends for the damage they have caused, you will hear more from us.
As for Murdoch’s meeting with the Dowler family, their lawyer reports, “He was humbled, shaken and sincere. This was something that had hit him on a personal level. He apologised many times and held his head in his hands.”
Brooks’ resignation letter can be read in full here. “As you can imagine recent times have been tough,” she writes. “I now need to concentrate on correcting the distortions and rebutting the allegations about my record as a journalist, an editor and executive.”