News of the World to close amid hacking scandal

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News of the World to close amid hacking scandal

Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:56 pm

This Sunday's edition of the News of the World will be its last, News International chairman James Murdoch has said, after days of increasingly damaging allegations against the paper.

The 168-year-old tabloid is accused of hacking into the mobile phones of crime victims, celebrities and politicians.

On Thursday, the Met Police said it was seeking to contact 4,000 possible targets named in seized documents.

Its editor Colin Myler said it was "the saddest day of my professional career".

He added that "nothing should diminish everything this great newspaper has achieved".

The News of the World, which sells about 2.8million copies a week, is famed for its celebrity scoops and sex scandals, earning it the nickname, the News of the Screws.

Downing Street has said it had no role or involvement in the decision to close.

Mr Murdoch said no advertisements would run in this weekend's paper - instead any advertising space would be donated to charities and good causes, and proceeds from sales would also go to good causes.

News International has refused to comment on rumours that the Sun could now become a seven-day-a-week operation.

"What happens to the Sun is a matter for the future," a spokeswoman for News International said. The Sun, another News International tabloid, is currently published from Monday to Saturday.

The spokeswoman also refused to say whether the 200 or so employees at the paper would be made redundant, saying: "They will be invited to apply for other jobs in the company."

The News of the World's political editor, David Wooding, who joined 18 months ago, said it was a fantastic paper.

"They cleared out all the bad people. They bought in a great new editor, Colin Myler, and his deputy, Victoria Newton, who had not been sullied by any of the things that had gone on in the past.

"And there's nobody there, there's hardly anybody there who was there in the old regime."

The Guardian says that Andy Coulson, formerly David Cameron's director of communications, will be arrested on Friday morning over suspicions that he knew about, or had direct involvement in, the hacking of mobile phones during his time as editor of the News of the World.

The Guardian also says that a former senior journalist at the paper will also be arrested in the next few days.

There have been repeated calls for Rebekah Brooks - the former editor, now News International's chief executive - to resign. But in an interview Mr Murdoch stood by her again, saying he was satisfied with her conduct.

'Serious regret'

In a statement made to staff, Mr Murdoch said the good things the News of the World did "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."

He went on: "In 2006, the police focused their investigations on two men. Both went to jail. But the News of the World and News International failed to get to the bottom of repeated wrongdoing that occurred without conscience or legitimate purpose.

"Wrongdoers turned a good newsroom bad and this was not fully understood or adequately pursued.

"As a result, the News of the World and News International wrongly maintained that these issues were confined to one reporter.

"We now have voluntarily given evidence to the police that I believe will prove that this was untrue and those who acted wrongly will have to face the consequences. This was not the only fault.

"The paper made statements to Parliament without being in the full possession of the facts. This was wrong.

"The company paid out-of-court settlements approved by me. I now know that I did not have a complete picture when I did so. This was wrong and is a matter of serious regret."

He said: "So, just as I acknowledge we have made mistakes, I hope you and everyone inside and outside the company will acknowledge that we are doing our utmost to fix them, atone for them, and make sure they never happen again.

"Having consulted senior colleagues, I have decided that we must take further decisive action with respect to the paper. This Sunday will be the last issue of the News of the World."

He reiterated that the company was fully co-operating with the two ongoing police investigations.

He added: "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 that improve life in Britain and are devoted to treating others with dignity."

The BBC's political editor, Nick Robinson, said that Rupert Murdoch has sacrificed the News of the World - or, at least, its title - instead of the chief executive of News International, Rebekah Brooks.

"Team Murdoch must have realised that it would be referred to again and again over the next few months in connection with the alleged phone-hacking of a murdered girl, grieving parents and war widows," he said.

"The question now is whether this will make the government's dilemma about the takeover of BSkyB easier or harder."

Mark Pritchard, secretary of the influential Conservative backbench 1922 committee and vice-chairman of the parliamentary media group, has told the BBC he wants the government to delay a decision on the BskyB takeover.

"The government should take the political and moral lead - and announce a delay to the BSkyB decision until all outstanding legal impediments have been removed," he said.

Labour MP Tom Watson told Sky News it was "a victory for decent people up and down the land, and I say good riddance to the News of the World".

But Justice Secretary Ken Clarke said: "All they're going to do is rebrand it."

And former deputy prime minister Lord Prescott, who alleged his phone was hacked, thought the decision was simply a gimmick.

In April, the News of the World admitted intercepting the voicemail messages of prominent people to find stories.

It came after years of rumours that the practice was widespread and amid intense pressure from those who believed they had been victims.

Royal editor Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire were jailed for hacking in January 2007 after it was found they targeted Prince William's aides.

Detectives recovered files from Mulcaire's home which referred to a long list of public figures and celebrities.

The scandal widened this week when it emerged that a phone belonging to the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler had also been hacked into, and some messages deleted.

Leading brands, including Sainsbury's, Ford and O2, pulled their newspaper advertising and shares in BSkyB fell on fears that the scandal could hinder parent company News Corp's bid for the broadcaster.

On Wednesday, the government promised an inquiry in the hacking allegations, but the nature of it is undecided.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14070733

A cynical attempt here to redirect criticism away from the top of Murdoch's empire. Sorry, you're not fooling me or anybody else for that matter.
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Re: News of the World to close amid hacking scandal

Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:04 pm

Gordon Brown's shock that his family medical records were hacked

The crisis engulfing Rupert Murdoch's global media empire dramatically worsened last night when it was claimed that private investigators working for The Sun and The Sunday Times targeted the former prime minister Gordon Brown.

In another extraordinary day in the phone-hacking scandal, News International's denials that illicit newsgathering techniques stretched beyond the News of the World came under strain in the face of well-sourced claims that two of its other best-selling titles were also involved in serious wrongdoing.

As Scotland Yard launched a fierce attack on News International for undermining its new inquiry into the alleged bribery of police officers by reporters, it was claimed that private investigators for Britain's largest newspaper group attempted to access Mr Brown's phone, medical records and bank account.

Illegal attempts were made by a "blagger" apparently working for The Sunday Times to access Mr Brown's account from the Abbey National bank in 2000. In a letter to The Sunday Times' editor John Witherow, Abbey National's senior lawyer wrote: "On the basis of facts and inquiries, I am drawn to the conclusion that someone from The Sunday Times or acting on its behalf has masqueraded as Mr Brown for the purpose of obtaining information from Abbey National by deception."

Separately a tape obtained by the BBC showed a "blagger" identified as Barry Beardall seeking, also in 2000, to trick Mr Brown's solicitors into handing over details of the amount he paid for a flat in Westminster owned by one of Robert Maxwell's companies. A story claiming that Mr Brown had underpaid for the flat by up to £30,000 was the subject of a story in the paper.

In another case, in October 2006, Rebekah Brooks, then editor of The Sun, contacted the Browns, informing them that she had obtained medical details about their four-year-old son Fraser. The Sun subsequently published a story stating that Fraser had cystic fibrosis.

Friends of the Browns said Ms Brooks' call caused them considerable distress, as they were seeking to come to terms with the diagnosis, which had not been confirmed. Police are thought to have evidence that the News of the World's private investigator Glenn Mulcaire had targeted Mr Brown and his wife, Sarah. In a statement, the Browns said: "We are shocked by the scale of law-breaking and intrusion into our private lives."

News International – whose chief executive is Ms Brooks – said it would investigate the allegations. The targeting of Mr Brown came as emails indicated that the NOTW had been bribing a Royal Protection Squad officer for personal details about the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, are also understood to have been informed by the new Metropolitan Police inquiry into phone hacking, Operation Weeting, they too may have been targeted by Mulcaire.

Completing an awful day for Mr Murdoch, the Government reversed its strong support for the tycoon's £9bn bid for BSkyB, whose full ownership would have given total control of its fast-rising revenues and the ability to cross-sell his newspapers to its 10 million subscribers.

The Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, executed his U-turn in the face of public revulsion sparked by claims that Mulcaire had deleted emails from the mobile phone of the missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler, giving her family false hope she was alive. After visiting Nick Clegg in Downing Street yesterday, Milly's parents, Robert and Sally Dowler, called for Ms Brooks to resign. Mark Lewis, the family's lawyer, said: "They don't see why she should stay in the job. They see this as something that went right to the top."

As the cosy relationship between Scotland Yard and News International collapsed, the police took the extraordinary step of accusing Mr Murdoch's company of undermining Operation Elveden, its new inquiry into alleged payments by the NOTW to corrupt officers. Scotland Yard said an agreement by NI not to make public details of internal emails outlining the claimed payments had been breached by the "continuous release" of information, which is known to only a handful of individuals. They said it threatened to hamper the operation, which last week arrested the NOTW's former editor Andy Coulson.

The Met believed the existence of the emails, which were handed to it by News International in June, would be kept secret until at least early next month, to allow inquiries to be conducted into the alleged corruption involving about five serving officers.

But the BBC journalist Robert Peston disclosed the alleged payments to Royal Protection officers yesterday, after apparently receiving information about emails from News International. The police were last week concerned about news of imminent arrests in The Times. The Met said it believed there was "a deliberate campaign to undermine the investigation into the alleged payments by corrupt journalists to corrupt police officers and divert attention from elsewhere".

The fallout appeared to have spread across the Atlantic, as shareholders filed a lawsuit stating it was "inconceivable" that James Murdoch and other board members were unaware of illicit newsgathering practices in his British newspaper group. The class action accused Rupert Murdoch of using News Corp like a "family candy jar".

Today, attention will shift to the Met's mishandling of the original investigation into phone hacking in 2007, and its subsequent insistence that there was no need to re-open the inquiry.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/gordon-browns-shock-that-his-family-medical-records-were-hacked-2312095.html
I'm guessing the Americans on this board aren't getting this story from FNC right now. Gee, I wonder why?
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Re: News of the World to close amid hacking scandal

Post by TexasBlue on Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:06 pm

The_Amber_Spyglass wrote:I'm guessing the Americans on this board aren't getting this story from FNC right now. Gee, I wonder why?

Why would you think that?

http://www.foxnews.com/search-results/search?q=news+of+the+world&submit=Search
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Re: News of the World to close amid hacking scandal

Post by TexasBlue on Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:07 pm

I personally thought about posting it yesterday but then I decided to let you do it since it's a UK story that's rocking the news world big time.


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“I’m not in favor of fairness. I’m in favor of freedom, and freedom is not fairness. Fairness means somebody has to decide what’s fair.” - Milton Friedman
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Re: News of the World to close amid hacking scandal

Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:13 pm

What NOTW and more specifically, senior management at NI did is nothing short of disgraceful.

Is there no integrity or decency in journalism any more?
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Re: News of the World to close amid hacking scandal

Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:18 pm

TexasBlue wrote:
The_Amber_Spyglass wrote:I'm guessing the Americans on this board aren't getting this story from FNC right now. Gee, I wonder why?

Why would you think that?

http://www.foxnews.com/search-results/search?q=news+of+the+world&submit=Search
The worst scandals are not even touched on in those links and most of it is concerned with how it would affect Murdoch's proposed takeover of BSkyB.

Nothing on the illegal hacking of the phone of a dead girl, giving the parents false hope that she was listening to her messages, nothing about the hacking of Gordon Brown's medical records to publish details on his child's illness at birth. In fact there is very little on the details of the scandal aside from Prince William commenting that his phone was hacked 6 years ago.
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Re: News of the World to close amid hacking scandal

Post by dblboggie on Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:22 pm

The_Amber_Spyglass wrote:What NOTW and more specifically, senior management at NI did is nothing short of disgraceful.

Is there no integrity or decency in journalism any more?

I'm afraid the answer to that question is no... no there is no integrity or decency in journalism anymore... if there ever was any.

By the way Matt, that quote by Karl Popper... it's been bugging me for some time. Ignorance, by its very definition is the absence of knowledge. Refusing to acquire it is stupidity, not ignorance.

Just a thought.
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Re: News of the World to close amid hacking scandal

Post by TexasBlue on Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:23 pm

The_Amber_Spyglass wrote:What NOTW and more specifically, senior management at NI did is nothing short of disgraceful.

Is there no integrity or decency in journalism any more?

Can't disagree with you more. What I want to know is how much did Murdoch know. Seriously, I wanna know this. The reason is that when you head a corporation as huge as he does, you don't know each and every thing going on.

Heads are going to roll.

Was NOTW a tabloid like our National Enquirer? Dirt journalism? Getting scoops on celebrities is a major art for National Enquirer.


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“I’m not in favor of fairness. I’m in favor of freedom, and freedom is not fairness. Fairness means somebody has to decide what’s fair.” - Milton Friedman
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Re: News of the World to close amid hacking scandal

Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:27 pm

Was NOTW a tabloid like our National Enquirer?
That's probably the best comparison to make yes. Does National Enquirer have a political slant? NOTW was undoubtedly a right wing newspaper.
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Re: News of the World to close amid hacking scandal

Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:31 pm

Were these links later on? I went through about 4-5 pages of links and didn't see these.

I guess they just buried those... and I thought only the liberal media did that Very Happy
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Re: News of the World to close amid hacking scandal

Post by TexasBlue on Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:38 pm

The_Amber_Spyglass wrote:Were these links later on? I went through about 4-5 pages of links and didn't see these.

I guess they just buried those... and I thought only the liberal media did that Very Happy

Nope. I did a search with Murdoch's name instead of NOTW.

Btw, I don't go to FNC's site very much unless it's linked from another search for something. I know that's hard to believe but it's true.
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Re: News of the World to close amid hacking scandal

Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:32 am

Murdoch's empire is being investigated in th US and Australia now.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-14131555
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Re: News of the World to close amid hacking scandal

Post by TexasBlue on Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:38 pm

The_Amber_Spyglass wrote:Murdoch's empire is being investigated in th US and Australia now.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-14131555

Needs to be done, afaic.
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Re: News of the World to close amid hacking scandal

Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:38 pm

You won't find many people over here who trust Rupert Murdoch. NOTW was his biggest newspaper interest. Though he owns a big share of The Sunday Times, there are so many legal restrictions placed on him on how he could run the country's most prestigious newspaper so NOTW was arguably the paper over which he might have had the most interest. Seeing as other newspapers he owns have been accused of using the same tactics, it is important that questions are asked about the extent of his involvement.

Though I do not want this to turn into a witch hunt, I can't help but feel that this will spell the end of the Murdoch empire and I'm not that sad about it.
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Re: News of the World to close amid hacking scandal

Post by TexasBlue on Wed Jul 13, 2011 5:21 pm

My question was if NOTW was a tabloid like our National Enquirer. That weekly rag is nothing but a bunch of gossip and bullshit.

If Murdoch falls, his news organizations like FNC or the WSJ will remain.


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“I’m not in favor of fairness. I’m in favor of freedom, and freedom is not fairness. Fairness means somebody has to decide what’s fair.” - Milton Friedman
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Re: News of the World to close amid hacking scandal

Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Wed Jul 13, 2011 5:59 pm

And I said that yes it was, but it does contain real news too.

If Murdoch is found culpable, he will find his hands tied even more. He has already been denied to opportunity to buy a greater share of BSkyB.
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