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Jul 20, 2011

…and what Gillard said.

Most of the news bulletins are carrying only the strongest bit of Gillard's comments on News Limited. In the latter bits, she is a little less Bolshiei, though hardly clear on what she

Margaret Simons

Journalist, author and director of the Centre for Advanced Journalism

Most of the news bulletins are carrying only the strongest bit of Gillard’s comments on News Limited. In the latter bits, she is a little less Bolshiei, though hardly clear on what she is and isn’t saying. Here is the complete transcript of the relevant bits. News Limited CEO John Hartigan’s response was in the previous post.

PM: Sorry, you’ll just have to be a little bit louder.

JOURNALIST: (inaudible) testimony of Rupert Murdoch last night (inaudible)

PM: Looking at all of these events in the United Kingdom, I think Australians have been disturbed by them and I think they’ve been disturbed to see the reports in the UK and the kind of things that have been happening with telephone hacking and the like and I think that does mean that Australians here look at News Limited and they’ve probably got some hard questions that they want answered.

On the individual testimony of Mr Murdoch, or anybody else who appeared, I’m not going engage in running commentary on that, but of course I would say the act that we saw with pie, conduct of that nature is grossly objectionable.

JOURNALIST: (inaudible)

PM: Look, I’m not going to engage in running commentary on testimony, but I do believe Australians watching all of that happening overseas with News Corp are looking at News Limited here and wanting to see News Limited answer some hard questions.

JOURNALIST: Are you saying that News Limited papers here have to answer some questions, or just the British tabloids?

PM: I think it’s inevitable and it happens on other areas of policy in life. When we see a big thing happen overseas it causes us to reflect on circumstances in our own nation, so I’m saying no more or no less than that. When we’ve seen big things happen overseas we’ve then had them influence our national conversation, what we’re talking about. I anticipate that that will continue to happen here.

JOURNALIST: I guess I’m asking, are you casting aspersions on News Limited papers here?

PM: Well, all I’m saying is when big things happen overseas, I’m certainly not making up any conclusions, quite the reverse. All I’m saying is when there’s been a major discussion overseas, when people have seen telephones hacked in to, when people have seen individuals grieving, had to deal with all of this, then I do think that causes them to ask some questions here in our country, some questions about News Limited here, and obviously New Limited’s got a responsibility to answer those questions when they’re asked, and I would say if the boot as on the other foot and there was some major political scandal in the United Kingdom involving politicians, journalists from all newspaper stables, including News Limited, would be beating a path to my door to ask me all about it and what the implications are for Australia.

So, I’m really saying no more than what journalists themselves would view as proper conduct if there was a political scandal overseas.

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