REPORT: How Facts And Pressure Forced Fox News To Cover News Corp. Hacking Scandal

In the days after News Corp.'s long-simmering phone-hacking scandal reignited, a great disparity emerged in the amount of coverage given to the saga, with Fox News giving significantly less coverage to the story than CNN and MSNBC. But as other news organizations began to highlight Fox News' relative silence on the scandal, as calls for investigations into the corporation mounted, and as resignations and arrests of top News Corp. officials mushroomed, it became impossible for Fox News to ignore the crumbling of a global media empire.

ANALYSIS: Under Scrutiny, Fox Doubles Its Coverage Of News Corp. Hacking Scandal

According to a Media Matters analysis, Fox News has increased the amount of coverage to the scandal and dedicated nearly five hours of live coverage to the July 19 British parliamentary committee hearings and the testimony of News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch, deputy chief operating officer James Murdoch, and former News International head Rebekah Brooks (something that CNN and MSNBC did as well).

In fact, in the six days since Fox News came under scrutiny for its coverage of its parent company's problems, its programs have covered the scandal in more than twice as many segments than it did during the first 9 days of the scandal.*


The increased coverage came as Murdoch agreed to testify about the scandal before a British House of Commons select committee, as the FBI announced that it would investigate allegations that News Corp. hacked into the phone records of 9-11 victims, as former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks resigned and was arrested in connection to the scandal, and as Les Hinton resigned as chief executive of Dow Jones & Co., which publishes The Wall Street Journal.

The following timeline lays out Fox News' coverage of the scandal as events unfolded: (Click to enlarge)


*Media Matters searched news transcripts provided by Factiva, TV Eyes and Snapstream for the terms “Dowler,” “hacking,” “News Corp.” and “News of the World” between July 4 and July 19. Fox News' live coverage of the July 19 British Parliament hearings, which ran from 9:30 a.m. - 2:20 p.m., was considered one segment.