The revelation that newspapers within the global News Corporation Company may have been involved in illegal practices of phone hacking in order to gain private information has come as little surprise to may business and political commentators.
The extent of these practices and the insensitive intrusion of these policies have caused outrage. When it became common knowledge that News of the World may have extended these practices to hacking murder victims, families of deceased soldiers and victims of terrorism, the public mood changed.
The wind changed
The mood dramatically shifted from ambivalence to outrage, causing those holding positions within the higher echelons of politics to quickly adjust their stance towards News Corporations. It is widely known that all the political parties have been actively involved in courting the endorsement of the powerful media arm, however previous allegations of hacking seemed to have attracted little attention.
Where did it all go wrong?
Any individual, who thinks it is an acceptable practice to break the law in order to gain private information of the most venerable, lacks any kind of moral foundations. Any corporation who endorses, supports and funds this kind of activity possesses a distinct absence of the fundamental sense of right and wrong and any leaders (political or business) that need to be reminded of this, is not fit to be a leader of others.
What is required from leaders in these times?
One of the most important aspects of leadership is the ability to set a clear and consistent example. Leaders must set the standard. They must be seen to uphold the values and standards of society, and they should not need reminding of their responsibilities through the application and threat of prosecution. These individuals should be able to operate and give clear direction even in times of moral ambiguity. The most disappointing part of the News Corporation scandal is that our leaders could not see this for themselves.