News / Europe

Tabloid to Close as British Hacking Scandal Widens

A woman speaks on her mobile phone outside the News International headquarters building that houses the top-selling newspaper The News of the World, which is closing, in east London, July 6, 2011
A woman speaks on her mobile phone outside the News International headquarters building that houses the top-selling newspaper The News of the World, which is closing, in east London, July 6, 2011

Multimedia

Henry Ridgwell

The News of the World phone-hacking scandal in Britain has claimed its latest victim - the newspaper itself. News International, the parent company of the newspaper owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, has announced that this Sunday’s edition will be the last. Its closure is unlikely to mark the end of a scandal that penetrates deep into British society.

Outside News International headquarters in London, protesters gathered Friday to voice their feelings about the company’s owner Murdoch and The News of the World.

Staff say journalists inside are even angrier. The decision to close The News of the World puts around 200 jobs on the line.

David Wooding, political editor at The News of the World, said, "Very said, very sad, it's going to be emotional for us all this weekend."

Ivor Gaber, professor of journalism at London’s City University, said The News of the World brand had been poisoned.

“Interesting the man [Murdoch] has no sentiment. People said, 'How could he close a newspaper, 160 years old?' Easy. Slightly more interesting is, this was his toehold, this was the first paper he bought in this country. You’d think he might have some sentimental attachment to the key that unlocked the riches of the British media," said Gaber. "No. He’s a businessman. He takes business decisions... He is a colossus. He doesn't control the media in every country but it's very difficult to travel to most parts of this world without encountering a Rupert Murdoch media product."

The phone-hacking allegations are nothing new. Two News of the World journalists were convicted in 2009. But the newspaper’s claim that they were isolated cases appears to be falling apart.

New evidence allegedly shows that the phone of a murdered British schoolgirl, Millie Dowler, was hacked by News of the World journalists while she was declared missing in 2002; and that some answer-phone messages were deleted, giving her family false hope that she was still alive.

Police say it appears that relatives of those killed in the 2005 London bombing victims, and the parents of dead soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan also are on the list of possible victims.

British Prime Minister David Cameron ordered two public inquiries into the allegations - but is himself facing close scrutiny for hiring a former editor of The News of the World, Andy Coulson, as his former Director of Communications.

Coulson was arrested Friday over fresh allegations he authorized cash payments of around $160,000 to police in return for stories.

“I decided to give him a second chance and no one has ever raised serious concerns about how he did his job for me," said Cameron. "But the second chance didn't work out and he had to resign all over again. The decision to hire him was mine, and mine alone, and I take full responsibility for it.”

The allegations go even deeper.

In 2006 the London Metropolitan Police investigated the hacking claims. Critics say the fact that the investigation did not uncover their true extent shows either corruption or incompetence.

The steady drip of allegations has piled the pressure on News International - and exposed the power of the Murdoch media empire within British society.

“It went to ridiculous extremes allowing Murdoch to dictate government policy," said Gaber. "We have several examples of that. And if that has been nullified, then that is one good fallout from this affair… The big question that the Metropolitan Police now face is did they whitewash the Murdoch inquiry because they were in hock to Murdoch - or worse - still frightened of Murdoch, and if that’s proven, then that is a very worrying development.”

After 160 years, the final copy of The News of the World will roll off the presses in the early hours of Sunday morning.

That is unlikely to be the end of the scandal.

You May Like

Australia-Cambodia Resettlement Agreement Raises Concerns

Agreement calls for Cambodia to accept refugees in return for $35 million in aid and reflects Australia’s harder line approach towards asylum seekers and refugees More

India Looks to Become Arms Supplier Instead of Buyer

US hopes India can become alternative to China for countries looking to buy weapons, but experts question growth potential of Indian arms industry More

Earth Day Concert, Rally Draws Thousands in Washington

President Obama also took up the issue Saturday in his weekly address, saying there 'no greater threat to our planet than climate change' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs