And good riddance

UK Sunday tabloid News of the World is shutting down after the latest phone-hacking revelations.

BRITAIN’S News of the World tabloid will print the last edition in its 168-year history on Sunday following a devastating scandal over phone hacking, owner Rupert Murdoch’s son James said last night.

The shock move comes after Britain’s biggest-selling Sunday newspaper was hit by allegations that it had hacked the phones of a murdered girl, the relatives of dead soldiers and hundreds of celebrities, politicians and royals.



Categories: ethics & philosophy, media

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12 replies

  1. Of course they’ll probably just retool the masthead to start producing a Sunday edition of The Sun on the same presses (just as soon as the BSkyB decision comes down), but it’s an extraordinary acknowledgement of just how much damage was being done to the corporate brand.

  2. The build-your-own-web-campaign site, Avaaz.org (of which I was previously unaware) has a “24 hours to stop Murdoch’s UK media takeover” account set up for British Citizens to send the UK government emails objecting to the Murdoch takeover of BSkyB.

    Murdoch’s media tramples standards and ignores ethics, and the whole country is horrified. But the government is pushing to give him full control of our largest commercial broadcaster. It’s an outrage and threatens the very pillars of our democracy! The official consultation ends on Friday. Send a message now calling on Hunt and Cameron to refuse Murdoch’s BSkyB deal until there’s a full Competition Commission review and a full public inquiry into phone hacking

    As I send this comment, this is the counter’s text:

    153,072 messages sent since Tuesday! Let’s get to 200,000

  3. I think what might be more useful than triumphing over the closure of one News Corp. tabloid in the UK would be an examination of their overall practices across the world. We’ve had people from Fox News (a News Corporation property) saying openly that they make up stories, we’ve witnessed here in Australia the sorts of beat-ups and inflammatory stories which are published on a regular basis in order to push up circulation (and thus advertising revenues). I’d argue what needs to be done is to start putting a regulatory framework on journalism as a whole – that we as readers, viewers, listeners, need to start questioning the mindset which says profit is the only reason for doing anything, and that a story’s visibility is far more important than whether or not it’s accurate, truthful, or ethically obtained.
    I’d love to think that the withdrawal of advertising from The News of the World would trigger a cascading effect on other News Corporation properties, with advertisers examining whether it’s really worth their while being associated with such a company just in order to get word of their product out. After all, the only thing which stopped the Sun from purchasing the stolen data was a sense that they didn’t need to do so in order to maintain their competitiveness. It might be worthwhile to find out whether stories generated from stolen data made their way onto pages here in Australia, or onto the screen in the USA, or into magazines, onto websites, or into stories which were followed up much more intensively in other Murdoch media vessels. How deep did the rot go, how high up were the decisions made, how much can we trust what Mr Murdoch and his family are telling us?

  4. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch.

  5. Yes Meg, exactly, your first paragraph in particular.
    The News of the World is responsible for only a tiny fraction of the evils of the Murdoch media internationally including here in Oz.
    The stable is filthy and getting rid of one nag won’t clean up the mess.

  6. You’re probably right, Meg, but the closure of that paper is still worth a little trumpeting.

  7. We’ve been celebrating in verse over at our place. Do feel free to come along and contribute:
    http://skepticlawyer.com.au/2011/07/08/hacked-right-off/

  8. i agree with meg but it’s still good on the odd occasion when it does happen 😛

  9. Amended News Corp. Lawsuit Says Hacking Claims Show ‘Culture Run Amuck’
    Amalgamated Bank of New York holds almost a million shares in News Corp as a funds trustee, and had already filed a lawsuit against Murdoch alleging nepotism, and they’ve just amended it following the escalation of the voicemail-hacking scandal and the surprise closure of NOTW:

    “These revelations should not have taken years to uncover and stop,” according to an amended complaint filed July 8 and made public today. “These revelations show a culture run amuck within News Corp. and a board that provides no effective review or oversight.”
    […]
    The case is Amalgamated Bank v. Murdoch, CA6285, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington).

  10. There’s more momentum building in the US for investigations into Rupert’s Way Of Doing Things. And he’s dropped the NewsCorp bid for BSkyB in the UK.
    Whoever thought so much of the Evil Empire could unravel so quickly? Mind you, rather like the BBC reporter on the radio this morning, I won’t believe it’s dead until it has a stake through its heart, its head cut off and its carcass is buried in separate quarters of a crossroads.

  11. … and there’s a mini series.

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