Rupert Murdoch followed up his personal apology to the family of Milly Dowler by placing signed full-page apology adverts in all Saturday’s national newspapers.
On Friday the 80-year-old News Corp boss met the family of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, whose phone-messages were allegedly hacked by a detective working for the News of the World in 2002. According to the Dowlers’ lawyer Mark Lewis: “He apologised many times. I don’t think anybody could have held their head in their hands so many times.”
Then, on Saturday – the full-page advertisements appeared, headlined: “We are sorry.”
Signed personally by Murdoch, the advert stated: “We regret notacting faster to sort things out. Ou business was founded on the idea that a free and open press should be a positive force in society. We failed to live up to this.”
He promised “further concrete steps to resolve these issues and make amends” adding “you will hear more from us”.
A second full-page advert was placed in the Sunday papers headed: “Putting right what’s wrong”.
This promised: “full co-operation with the police…compensation for those affected” and “a commitment to change”.
The advert noted that a “management and standards committee” has been set up directed by parent company News Corp to “address past problems and prevent them happening again”.
The ad also notes that law firm Olswang will “examine past failings and recommend new systems and practices to ensure we meet the highest standards. This will be done in an open and transparent way. We have welcomed cross-party calls for a broad public inquiry into police and press practices and have offered our full co-operation.”
The advert said: “For a business that prides itself on holding the powerful to account, we failed when it came to one of our papers. Apologising for our mistakes and fixing them are only the first steps.
“It may take some time for us to rebuild trust and confidence, but we are determined to live up to the expectations of our readers, colleagues and partners.”
The Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday said that payment from the Murdoch ads would be given to charity.