U.K. Tabloid ‘News Of The World’ To Shut Down Amid Phone Hacking Scandal

For four years now, Rupert Murdoch’s News Of The World, a British tabloid known for salacious headlines, has been caught up in a scandal surrounding revelations that reporters for the paper had been hacking into the voice mail of celebrities, crime victims, and even the British Royal Family for years. Today, the paper announced it would cease publication on Sunday

16.49 We have James Murdoch’s statement in full here, but here are a few choice quotes:

You do not need to be told that The News of the World is 168 years old. That it is read by more people than any other English language newspaper. That it has enjoyed support from Britain’s largest advertisers. And that it has a proud history of fighting crime, exposing wrong-doing and regularly setting the news agenda for the nation.

When I tell people why I am proud to be part of News Corporation, I say that our commitment to journalism and a free press is one of the things that sets us apart. Your work is a credit to this.

The good things the News of the World does, however, 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. Colin Myler will edit the final edition of the paper.

In addition, I have decided that all of the News of the World’s revenue this weekend will go to good causes.

While we may never be able to make up for distress that has been caused, the right thing to do is for every penny of the circulation revenue we receive this weekend to go to organisations – many of whom are long-term friends and partners – that improve life in Britain and are devoted to treating others with dignity.

The paper has been owned by the Murdoch family since 1969, but the phone hacking scandal was causing problems not just for the paper itself, but also News Corp.’s other business interests. What’s unclear from all this is whether there will be any legal implications from all of this, whether criminal or civil.

 

FILED UNDER: Media, Quick Takes
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. WR says:

    “And in exchange for this sacrifice, we expect Cameron’s government to promise not to look any further at Newscorp, to let us buy the rest of BSkyB, and to lay off any high executives in the company.”

  2. PJ says:

    And they will replace the paper, that’s only published on Sundays, with a Sunday edition of The Sun. (They registered the websites two days ago.)

  3. wondertrash says:

    NO! we can’t afford to lose a single tabloid – not after the weekly World News went under.

  4. legion says:

    Wow. This has exploded rather suddenly. The Sun is now under investigation too, with its own separate (I think) Parliamentary inquiry ready to drop. It’s sounding like a lot of Murdoch’s UK management team went completely off the reservation, and now a lot of people are going to get thrown under buses…

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    the right thing to do is for every penny of the circulation revenue we receive this weekend to go to organisations – many of whom are long-term friends and partners –

    as opposed to the actual victims of their actions?

  6. lunaticllama says:

    Exploiting dead soldiers and kidnapped little girls is not a viable business strategy. Duly noted. These revelations really reveal how indifferent Murdoch is to normal, everyday-people standards of morality.

  7. sam says:

    @Doug

    ” What’s unclear from all this is whether there will be any legal implications from all of this, whether criminal or civil.”

    I not sure it’s all that unclear, some News Corps folks have already been put in the slammer, and others are currently under arrest.

    See, Roles in The News of the World Hacking Scandal

  8. Nikki says:

    Seems like some within Scotland Yard and a lot of British politicians will be facing corruption charges behind this mess. Personally, I bet the phone hacking stuff is SOP throughout News Corp. When Rebekah Brooks went on to head NI, her deputy took over at NOTW and that’s when the hacking went on steroids. The Guardian says there’s a list of about 4,000 hackees taken from the notes of the one private investigator who was on retainer to NOTW and who was subsequently convicted for his role in this. Who knows how many other PIs NOTW, the Sun and the Daily Mail have hired over the years to do the same stuff?

  9. Franklin says:

    “This is the paper, Charlie. ‘Pregnant man gives birth’. That’s a fact!”

    (So I Married An Axe Murderer)

  10. Well, at least we know why Fox News was so gungho on supporting warrantless wiretapping. Their boss was just protecting his hobby.

  11. PJ says:

    What’s unclear from all this is whether there will be any legal implications from all of this, whether criminal or civil.

    It’s coming.

    Andy Coulson has been told by police that he will be arrested on Friday morning over suspicions that he knew about, or had direct involvement in, the hacking of mobile phones during his editorship of the News of the World.

    Andy Coulson was the editor of the News of the World between 2003 and 2007 and David Cameron’s director of communications between 2007 and 2011.