Today's Top Stories

Media Stocks Dive as Market Plunges

Worries about the economy sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 512.76 points Thursday, or 4.31%, and media stocks were among those taking bigger than average hits. Shares of Comcast and Time Warner, which reported higher profits this week, were down 4.26% and 4.62% respectively. News Corp., which reports earnings next week, was down nearly 7%.

INSI calls on UN to investigate over NATO and IDF attacks on media outlets

Two recent incidents suggest NATO and Israeli forces may have targeted journalists in breach of international law. A NATO air strike on the Tripoli headquarters of state broadcaster Al-Jamahiriya on July 30 killed three media staff and wounded 21. And on July 29, at the start of the weekly Palestinian demonstration in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, Israeli army infantry reservists opened fire with riot-control weapons on a group of some 10 press photographers

Star Tribune Guild members OK pay freeze extension

Newsroom employees at the Star Tribune have approved extending their pay freeze for another 18 months. Newspaper Guild co-chair David Chanen says union members voted overwhelmingly for the contract extension Thursday. He did not release a specific vote. Chanen says when the 18-month extension expires, Star Tribune Newspaper Guild members will have had their pay frozen for 4.5 years.

Job growth still sputtering in lowest gear

The decline in the unemployment rate, from 9.2% to 9.1%, was due entirely to a drop in labor force participation, not an increase in the share of workers with jobs. Remarkably, the labor force is smaller now than it was before the recession started (by more than 700,000 workers), even though the working-age population grew by over seven million in that time. Meanwhile, the share of unemployed workers who have been unemployed for more than six months held steady at 44.4%.

Second newspaper group faces hacking lawsuits, lawyer says

Several alleged victims of tabloid phone hacking in Britain will soon file lawsuits against a second newspaper group, Piers Morgan's former employer Trinity Mirror PLC, their lawyer said Friday. Mark Lewis said the claims would be filed in “a few weeks,” but would not disclose identities of his clients or say precisely when the papers would be lodged at court.

Call for public inquiry in murder case with NoW links

Lawyers acting for the family of a murdered private detective have called for a new public inquiry which could shed more light on corrupt relationships between British police and News Corp. journalists. "We know now that News International had entered the criminal underworld," MP Tom Watson said, about the 1987 ax murder of Daniel Morgan -- which, despite five police investigations, has never resulted in a conviction.

IRS: 235,413 million-dollar earners

People and households earning $1 million or more annually made up just 0.1%, or just over 235,000, of the 140 million tax returns filed in 2009, taking in a total of $726.9 billion — yet 1,470 paid not a penny of income taxes. Meanwhile the average income in 2009 was $54,283, a drop of more than $3,500, or 6%, from 2008. That put the average income at its lowest level since 1997.

FBI widens News Corp inquiry after alleged computer hacking by subsidiary

The FBI is widening its investigation of News Corporation's activities within the US to look at whether alleged computer hacking by one of its subsidiaries was an isolated case, Time magazine is reporting. Time suggests that the FBI inquiry has been extended from a relatively narrow look at alleged malpractices by News Corp in America into a more general investigation of whether the company used possibly illegal strong-arm tactics to browbeat rival firms.