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Bestselling UK tabloid closes over phone hacking scandal

Friday, July 8, 2011

Laaska News  July 8,2011 Scandal Kills off  News of the World

News International, a British newspaper publisher owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, announced the closure of the News of the World tabloid, which has been mired in a widening telephone hacking scandal.

The UK’s bestselling Sunday paper is to close after its final, ad-free issue this coming weekend. Proceeds from the final issue which will go to charity, James Murdoch, who heads the newspaper’s European operations, announced Thursday. 
The scandal, which has cost the 168-year-old newspaper prestige and advertisers, has featured sensational allegations that the newspaper bribed police and hacked the voicemails of a murdered teenager as well as the relatives of terrorism victims and fallen soldiers.
On Wednesday a group of protesters, including film star Hugh Grant, gathered outside the British Parliament. Grant revealed that he had to testify to police investigating the hacking allegations.
We need to have an inquiry that uncovers all the practices and indeed the culture, not just at the News of the World, but all the tabloid journalism in this country, because what we are going to find out in the weeks and months ahead is that it wasn’t just the News of the World,” he was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.
The scandal, which has unfolded over the past several years, exploded in recent days after The Guardian newspaper reported that the tabloid allegedly hacked the voice mail of Milly Dowler, who was abducted and murdered in 2002 at the age of 13. 
Subsequent media reports alleged that the tabloid had also been involved in listening to the voice mail of relatives of those killed in the London bombings in July 2005, as well as relatives of British soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan.
All in all, UK police are examining roughly 4,000 names of people who may have been targeted by the paper, the Associated Press reported.
The tabloid, which had two of its employees sentenced in 2006 for listening to phone conversations of members of the royal family, has reportedly agreed to pay millions in compensation to a number of celebrities.  
The spokesman for British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that all those responsible for the misdeeds at the News of the World should be brought to justice, the Reuters news agency reported.
What matters is that all wrongdoing is exposed and those responsible for these appalling acts are brought to justice,” the spokesman said. “As the prime minister has made clear, he is committed to establishing rigorous public inquiries to make sure this never happens in our country again.”
­According to Rob Lyons, deputy editor for the online magazine Spiked, the newspaper overstepped the boundaries of public taste by touching on very sensitive topics.

The means, the views, are not really all that new or all that morally different from the things that local newspapers and national newspapers have been doing for a very long time,” he said.
What is different about the last few days is that it is not just celebrities, it is not just politicians, it is now some very, very sensitive people,” he continued. “The Milly Dowler case is the most high profile. Trying to listen to the phone messages of people who have been involved in terrorist attacks, the victims of those things, are what has really gone a bit too far for most people’s taste.”

 

­News International Ltd, a daughter company of Rupert Murdoch’s media conglomerate News Corporation, also owns a number of other major British newspapers.

 

 RT.

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