Resignation Follows U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Andy Coulson, the communication director for British prime minister David Cameron, has resigned as a result of the ongoing “phone hacking” scandal in the U.K. Coulson was the editor-in -hief of the tabloid paper News of the World when the hacking of celebrities’ cell phones by News reporters supposedly took place. He still says that he was unaware of the hacking, but that he is resigning from his post with the government because the police investigation—which has been ongoing since 2006—is now distracting him from giving the “110 percent needed” for his job.

For just why this is important now, check out Ryan Chittum’s mini-roundups of the scandal and the coverup on The Audit, where he notes that another ex-News exec like Coulson who’s likely shaking in his boots right now is Les Hinton, head of The Wall Street Journal parent Dow Jones.

And for further background on this evolving story, check out what CJR’s Dean Starkman wrote about the scandal when The Guardian got the scoop about News Corp.’s attempt to cover it up with out-of-court settlements back in July 2009. Starkman wrote:

I can’t help thinking about the old Dow Jones, where I used to work. It was so concerned with propriety that it didn’t even like to take out loans for fear of appearing beholden to banks, as former DJ director Jim Ottaway recalled in a 2007 interview with The Audit.

Now we have a hacking/pretexting scandal that involves possible widespread criminal wrongdoing at papers owned by a major media company, the parent of the world’s leading financial watchdog.

It would make a great leder.

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Lauren Kirchner is a freelance writer covering digital security for CJR. Find her on Twitter at @lkirchner