Zondervan says Rupert Murdoch connection does not present ‘ethical dilemma’

Zondervan has said that its connection to News Corporation does not present an ethical dilemma for the company.

The Christian book and Bible publisher is owned by Harper Collins, a subsidiary of News Corp, which has hit the rocks over allegations that phone hacking was widespread at one of its newspapers.

News Corp founder Rupert Murdoch and his son, chairman of News International, James Murdoch, were grilled for three hours by a Commons Select Committee yesterday over the scandal that brought down The News of the World.

A bewildered-looking Rupert Murdoch denied knowledge of phone hacking but admitted that it had been the “most humble day” of his life.

Zondervan’s link to News Corp has been strongly criticised by blogger Will Braun in a post that has been circulated further in major US news outlets like the Houston Chronicle and USA Today.

In his post, Braun debates the ethics of buying Bibles from a publisher that is owned by Murdoch.

“For those us of [sic] who care about the Christian scriptures, what are we to make of this mix of billionaire media tycoonery, allegations of phone hacking and bribery, and the Holy Word of God?" he said.

“What are we to make of the fact that every time we buy a Zondervan product we contribute to Murdoch’s mogul-dom, which includes a personal fortune that Forbes pegged at $6.3 billion last year.”

Zondervan has issued a statement indicating that it has no plans to change the way it operates in light of the crisis affecting News Corp.

Tara Powers, a spokeswoman, who said, "This does not present an ethical dilemma for Zondervan as we will continue to operate with autonomy as we always have.

"We are fortunate to have strong and positive relationships with our authors. They know who Zondervan is and how we operate and we have not heard of serious concerns from authors.

“While we are obviously aware of the matter at hand, it does not distract or detract from our work at hand and we will continue to pursue our mission and operate as we have for the past 80 years."