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Thursday, 7 July 2011

End of the World (News of the World that is!)

James Murdoch announced today that this Sundays' News of the World will be its last ever edition.

As an aspiring journalist, the unravelling of this story has kept my attention. I was shocked when I heard the announcement that after 168 years, the newspaper was finally coming to an end.

Its current editor Colin Myler described it as "the saddest day of my professional career".

With the tabloid facing accusations of hacking numerous phones over many years, including politicians, celebrities, and arguably the most shocking - victims of crime and their families.
Earlier today, before the announcement of the newspapers closure, the Met police said they were investigating 4,000 possible targets of the hacking scandal.

There was outrage early this week when it was revealed that murdered girl - Milly Dowler had her phone hacked by an investigator working for the News of the World.

In 2002, Glenn Mulcaire hacked into Milly Dowler's voicemail, going as far as to delete some of the messages, giving her family false hope that it was her deleting them.
At this time the newspaper's editor was Rebekah Brooks, but now currently holds the position of News International's chief executive, although many are calling for her to resign, with many staff members finding it unfair that they're jobs have been sacrificed, while she is able to keep her position. Particularly as she was in charge throughout the phone scandals, while mopst of the staff were not around during that time, and some staff feel that if she had resigned, the paper would have been saved.

The newspaper also announced today that this week's issue would have no advertisements. This came after a number of companies (such as Sainsburies, Halifax, Virgin Holidays and O2) dropped thier connections with tabloid.

Many 'News of the World' staff were said to have burst into tears and gasped in shock when the news was broke to them by Brooks and Murdoch. The stagg have been told that they are free to speak to the media, although many will be careful wih the future of thier careers currently unclear
After the staff were informed, Brooks was asked to leave by the current editor Colin Myler. He then addressed his staff, only being given the news just 20 minutes before them.

A few questions have crossed my mind since hearing the news. Such as what will be the papers final front page. Will it simply be an apology to those they've hurt and wronged?
Also, with no advertising, how will they present they're final piece? It is certainly a good way to ensure this Sunday's edition sells a large number of copies. In the build up to the announcement, a petition spread through Twitter, urging people to not purchase this Sunday's edition in protest.

I've also wondered if this could this be an ideal opportunity for a company such as News International to launch a fully digital Sunday news provider?

Sky news have reported that the internet domain name thesunonsunday.co.uk was registered on July 5 to a company called Media Spring.


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