Court OKs anonymous witnesses at UK media inquiry

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LONDON (AP) -- Britain's High Court says reporters can give evidence to a media ethics inquiry anonymously -- rejecting a bid by a newspaper publisher to force them to reveal their names.

Inquiry head Brian Leveson ruled last year that some witnesses could appear anonymously, after he was told that the reporters feared losing their jobs if they were identified.

Associated Newspapers, which publishes the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday, challenged the ruling, saying its reputation could be unfairly tarnished by anonymous witnesses.

But three High Court judges dismissed the claim Friday, saying "it is not for the court to micromanage the conduct of the inquiry."

The inquiry is examining the culture and ethics of Britain's press in the wake of the tabloid phone-hacking scandal.