News of the World shut down by scandal

July 8, 2011


Image vie waferboard

Hold the front page. And the second. Hold every page. Sunday tabloid the News of the World has been making headlines in every other paper all week as an increasing number of revelations appear regarding the phone hacking scandal. Now it’s gone. News International have announced Sunday will be the last ever edition of the paper. With virtually every advertiser from Boots to the British Legion withdrawing advertising and the paper’s run looked to be untenable. In a gesture of good will Sunday’s advertising space will be donated to charities and good causes. Printing sorry in big letters just wasn’t good enough.

The paper renowned for exposing celebrity sleaze and secrets has now become the scandal that keeps on giving. The News of the World is now making more headlines than a drug-taking, sex-addict footballer’s wife and the scandals show no sign of abating. Now it seems News Corps is being forced to cut out the cancer before too much damage is done.

The phone-hacking scandal began with the revelation that the paper had hired private investigators in order to hack into answer phone messages of celebrities and politicians. The idea of this breach of privacy did little to scare away either readers or advertisers. These were celebrities, practically public property. If they didn’t want the attention then they shouldn’t have become famous.

The editorial team argued that these were rogue freelance investigators and they had no idea this was occurring. Although frequent, it was a freak event. It is of course perfectly plausible to believe that editors and department heads have no idea what was happening on their watch.

Advertisers will of course follow the public demand. If the paper sells then what’s the there’s an audience to buy things. Does it really matter if I few people had their privacy breached? Well what happens when it’s a murdered teenager? Suddenly people start to care.

The Milly Dowler allegations disgusted most of the world but that proved to be just the tip of a very nasty iceberg. Other victims are alleged to be the families of dead soldiers and those of 7/7 bombing victims. Police have revealed that they have more than 4000 names of people they believe have been hacked.

If only it ended there.  There are claims that police officers have been bribed in return for confidential information prompting an investigation from the Independant Police Complaints Commission. That the paper has shut down at this point suggest that in the coming days even more damning information is likely to emerge.

To take down a paper with strong sales is an indication of just how damaging these revelations have been to the name, News International and the British press as a whole. A number of journalists will be set to lose their jobs with the Sunday paper. News International’s daily tabloid The Sun looks set to go out seven days a week replacing the its sister paper.

This spectacular decision is a pre-emptive strike. These revelations have come at the worst possible time for the News of the World’s parent company News International, part of media conglomerate News Corps. The news giant are currently attempting to cement their place as the UKs dominant media force with a proposed take over of BSkyB. Despite positive noises from the government, with so much at stake and strong opposition from other media companies The News of the World fiasco could upset the fine balance required for such major business deals.


No related posts.

, , , ,


Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to receive updates.