* Dow Jones panel criticizes embroiled News Corp units
* Says no offenses have taken place at Dow Jones-panel
* Has not investigated practices thoroughly-report
(Adds quotes, background, links)
NEW YORK, July 17 A special committee formed to oversee the
integrity of Dow Jones & Co under parent News Corp (NWSA.O) is very concerned
about the British phone hacking scandal that has shaken Rupert Murdoch's media
The Dow Jones Special Committee said it was monitoring the situation and
had been in talks with Dow Jones officials over the scandal, which has led to
several arrests in London, as well as the resignation of Dow Jones head Les
Hinton had run News Corp's British newspaper arm, News International, for
many years including the period of the alleged phone hacking.
"Such matters are deeply concerning to us, suggesting as they do a serious
default of basic journalistic standards in certain units of News Corp," the Dow
Jones Special Committee said in a statement on Friday after Hinton's
The five-member watchdog was created in 2007 to help assuage the concerns
of the Bancroft family who used to own Dow Jones. The Bancrofts were worried
about the editorial independence and integrity of the Wall Street Journal and
Dow Jones Newswires under News Corp ownership.
Each member of the committee, chaired by Thomas Bray, is paid $100,000 a
year. (Click here for a Breakingviews column on the panel [ID: nN1E76D16V])
The panel said it has no reason to believe that Hinton's departure was
related to activities by the Wall Street Journal or Dow Jones "or that any of
the London offenses or anything like them have taken place at Dow Jones."
Bray told the Associated Press on Saturday that the committee did not
conduct an independent investigation to come to its conclusions.
"All we can testify to is what has or has not come to our attention," Bray
told the AP. "That's our function. We're not a police force."
When asked if the committee plans to open an investigation into the matter,
Bray told Reuters, "We are letting the statement speak for itself for now."
Rebekah Brooks, the former head of Rupert Murdoch's British
newspaper business, was arrested on Sunday in the latest twist of a
phone-hacking scandal that has tainted British police and politicians and
shaken the tycoon's global media empire. [ID:nL6E7IH031]
(Reporting by Liana B. Baker and Jennifer Saba; Editing by Richard Chang)