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Hacking scandal starts to spread beyond News Corp

Uneasy faces and sweaty palms all along Fleet Street

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Trinity Mirror Group Plc – owner of the Daily Mirror, Daily Record and The People, is opening an internal investigation into ethics and editorial procedures.

The company, which also owns 160 regional papers, has struggled to move its papers online and has watched its share price drop from 571 pence in 2007 to 43 pence today.

A spokesman for the Mirror Group said: "We can confirm that we're conducting a review of editorial controls and procedures."

The group last conducted such a probe in 2004 in the wake of the Hutton Inquiry into the BBC and the death of David Kelly.

In other news the Daily Mail insisted it did not need to carry out an internal review to know that it had never run stories based on phone hacking.

Chief Executive Martin Morgan said the board had received assurances in line with comments made by Mail editor Paul Dacre last week.

But this hostage to fortune was not enough for everyone – some Daily Mail Group shareholders told the FT an internal inquiry was the very least they expected.

A 2008 report (pdf) by the Information Commissioner into "the unlawful trade in confidential personal information" specified that some 305 journalists from a wide range of leading British papers and magazines had been identified as "customers driving the illegal trade". Even the Observer, sister paper to the Guardian which has made most of the running in exposing the phone-hacking culture of what was once Fleet Street, was named. ®

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