Scandal-Plagued News of the World to Shut Down Sunday
An ad for News of The World, a newspaper published by News International Newspapers Ltd and a subsidiary of News Corp., is displayed at a store in Canvey Island, U.K., on Thursday. Photo by Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images.
News Corp.’s James Murdoch has announced that the embattled tabloid News of the World will publish its last edition on Sunday, amid a growing inquiry into the paper’s alleged hacking into the phones of celebrities, public figures, families of 7/7 London subway bombing victims and a 13-year-old murder victim, now faces allegations that it hacked into the phones of relatives of British soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In his statement to the staff, Murdoch said:
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.
The inquiry into Britain’s biggest-selling Sunday tabloid has spawned a scandal that has shocked Britons, including Prime Minister David Cameron, who has called the allegations “absolutely disgusting.”
News of the World is owned by a subsidiary of News Corporation and is part of media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s list of outlets, including Fox, the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal. Murdoch called the accusations “deplorable and unacceptable” and agreed to fully cooperate with the investigation.
(See Rupert Murdoch’s full statement).
The most recent accusations center around possible hacks into the phones of grieving families. According to the Daily Telegraph:
“The Daily Telegraph has learnt that the personal details of the families of servicemen who died on the front line have been found in the files of Glenn Mulcaire, the private detective working for the Sunday tabloid.
“The disclosure that grieving relatives of war dead were targets for the newspaper prompted anger among military charities, who said it was a ‘disgusting and indefensible assault on privacy.’”