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February 16, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

In the ever-metastasizing scandal involving Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers in the U.K., several rival papers in the U.K. today (Thursday) reported that public officials and police officers were paid retainers by Murdoch’s News International to feed reporters with exclusive information. One unnamed source told the Financial Times, “This is not about sources or expenses. This is an investigation into serious suspected criminality over a sustained period … [involving] regular cash payments totaling tens of thousands of pounds a year for several years to public officials.” One rival newspaper, the Mail, came to the defense of Sun reporters, saying that the investigation threatens to expose their sources. “British journalism has now received the most devastating blow of all,” the Mail said. “The reporter’s sacred rule is always to protect sources by refusing to identify them, whatever the duress. Newspapermen have gone to jail to uphold that trust.” Now, the current police investigation appears on the verge of revealing some of the Sun’s, the Mail warned, adding that News Corp’s Management and Standards Committee, which reportedly turned over information to police that led to the arrest of five Sun journalists last weekend, “should hang its head in shame.”