June 27, 2019

Murdoch shuts down News of the World

James Murdoch seems rather young for an angel of death but obviously daddy didn't want to wield the axe himself.

Rupert Murdoch has moved to close down the News of the World, Britain’s biggest-selling Sunday newspaper following a growing public outcry about hacking of private phone messages that has seen advertisers leaving in droves.

The statement read by James Murdoch included the startling sentence that took everyone by surprise, “News International today announces that this Sunday, 10 July 2011, will be the last issue of the News of the World.”

News of the World journalists have been accused of hacking the private messages of Stars like Sienna Miller, Hugh Grant and Steve Coogan. But it is the hacking of phones belonging to murder victim Milly Dowler, and the family of Soham murder victims Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

The News of the World has been running for 168 years so this is a momentous decision for Murdoch to make.

The Statement said “The good things the News of the World does … have been sullied by behaviour that was wrong. Indeed, if recent allegations are true, it was inhuman and has no place in our Company. The News of the World is in the business of holding others to account. But it failed when it came to itself.

“This Sunday will be the last issue of the News of the World … In addition, I have decided that all of the News of the World’s revenue this weekend will go to good causes.

“We will run no commercial advertisements this weekend.”

It was unclear at this stage what News Ltd is going to do to replace the News of the World which sells 2.6 million copies a week.

On the other side of the coin, News of the World journalists are stunned. That is going to rapidly turn to anger which will most likely be directed at the Murdochs and former News of the World editor and current Murdoch golden girl Rebekah Brooks.

The sorts of excesses that have been revealed at the News of the World take time to come to the surface. The culture of the place would have to be seriously flawed for this to happen. Lower level staff are not going to act the way they have without approval from the top.

Even if that approval was at the level of “Don’t tell me how you got that information,” it is still tacit approval for illegal activity.