James Murdoch

Hmm. He's still got a job, though.

So, James Murdoch – son of media magnate Rupert Murdoch – has stepped down as Executive Chairman of the beleaguered News International arm of the family’s media empire.

This is the culminating act of a sequence of events:

* The closure of The News of the World, the British Sunday tabloid newspaper which was News International’s flagship product.

* A number of high-profile court cases in which alleged victims (celebrities and everyday citizens alike) sought damages for the alleged phone-hacking and /or phone-tapping practices of journalists working for The News of the World.

* The arrest and / or resignation of several key figures of News International’s corporate structure.

* An ongoing investigation into alleged corrupt practices by employees of New International’s daily tabloid, The Sun – which may have involved serving members of the police force.

* The launch last Sunday by Rupert Murdoch of The Sun On Sunday (The SOS? How desperate is that?), a tabloid which may fill the gap left by the defunct News of the World.

And now, James Murdoch has stepped down. And out of the media spotlight.

Hmm.

Am I being cynical, or does this look like a damage limitation exercise?

I mean, James Murdoch is still assured of a senior position at News Corp, the main US arm of the Murdoch empire.

And – by reducing the heat on News International – the success of the new Sun On Sunday may also be assured.

I don’t know.

Cynical ploy? Or genuine reaction to the course of events?

What do you think?

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