Two UK Murdoch journalists in apparent suicide bids

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 06, 2012 2:43 PM

LONDON (Reuters) - Two senior journalists working for Rupert Murdoch's News International have apparently attempted suicide as pressure mounts at the scandal-hit publisher of the now-defunct News of the World, London's Evening Standard reported Tuesday.

Three sources close to the company confirmed that the two Sun journalists appeared to have tried to take their own lives, as investigations sparked by a phone-hacking scandal continue to expose other dubious practices by present and past employees.

Eleven current and former staff of the Sun, Britain's best-selling daily tabloid, have been arrested this year on suspicion of bribing police or civil servants.

Police officer Sue Akers, who is heading three criminal inquiries into News International, said last week there appeared to have been "a culture of illegal payments" at the Sun.

Staff at the tabloid have been under additional pressure for the past two weeks, as they have also had to produce a Sunday paper, hastily announced by Murdoch to replace the News of the World in an apparent attempt to boost morale.

News International, the British newspaper arm of Murdoch's News Corp media empire, has increased the level of psychiatric help available to employees to help them cope.

(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; editing by Tim Pearce)