This lawyer’s letter has just been sent out to media organisations:
Not for Publication
Private and Confidential
We act for News Corporation.
We understand that the BBC is due to broadcast a Panorama programme on Monday 26 March 2012, in which serious and defamatory allegations may be made against our client. We say this, not because any allegations have been put to our client prior to broadcast, but because the BBC is publishing on its own website the following synopsis of the programme:
“As Rupert Murdoch faces accusations of law-breaking and corruption at his British tabloid newspapers, Panorama reveals fresh hacking allegations at the heart of News Corporation’s pay-TV empire. The investigation examines the role of former senior police officers in recruiting people to break the law – in order to bring down Murdoch’s commercial rival.”
The allegation which the BBC appears to be broadcasting on Monday is that News Corporation has been involved in illegal activities designed to cause the collapse of a business rival. We write to put you on notice that this allegation is serious, defamatory, false and highly damaging; we urge your paper not to republish it, especially in circumstances where our client has not been given the opportunity to respond.
PSB Law LLP
Panorama’s ratings should be good…