Thursday, July 7, 2011

News of the Screws

One of Britain's worst newspapers is closing this Sunday. The News of the World a newspaper that's existed since the 1800s, but it's never had an ounce of respectability, trafficking - from the beginning - in salacious gossip and scandal. The NotW has always represented everything that's rotten in British "journalism".

Why is it closing? Because it committed crimes, repulsive, awful, crimes, while chasing various stories, and - critically - it got caught.

James Murdoch (yes, Murdoch's son, it's a family business) made some interesting claims concerning the paper:

The good things the News of the World does … have been sullied by behaviour that was wrong. Indeed, if recent allegations are true, it was inhuman and has no place in our company," he said."The News of the World is in the business of holding others to account. But it failed when it came to itself.

No, the News of the World has never been "in the business of holding others to account", or had any other deep, important, mission.

Of course, the NotW isn't really being closed. It's more of a renaming and reorganization. In real terms, the NotW has been the "Sunday Sun" for several decades now (or perhaps, given what came first, the Sun is the Daily News of the World), and by all accounts, Murdoch intends to turn the Sun into a 7 day operation. Because the label "The Sun" wasn't implicated in the scandal, this is apparently all OK, and nobody's going to object.

Goodbye News of the World. I'm not sorry to see you go. I wish you were really going though, both the edition that bares your name, and the daily edition that will continue to carry your torch.

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