James Murdoch’s announcement this afternoon that Sunday’s News of the World is to be the last has sent shockwaves around both the MM office and the world.
The closure of the nation’s biggest Sunday newspaper, which sells 2.8m copies per week, comes as a result of a mass withdrawal of advertisers including Ford, npower and Virgin Holidays.
This comes as a huge blow to News Corp but can it really be seen as a surprise following the huge negative publicity surrounding the phone hacking scandal?
Murder victim Milly Dowler and the parents of Soham murders Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman were among 4,000 potential victims of phone hacking.
This closure however may do the world of journalism good in the long run. Despite the job losses and loss of a hugely popular paper, it could be seen as the industry wiping the slate clean.
Journalists have never been seen as the most honourable of people, but the demise of the News of the World may redeem the newspaper industry in the eyes of the public.
The latest allegations about murder victims and their families being hacked has pushed the Sunday title over the edge and into oblivion.
Without doubt, public opinion was soured by the allegations of tapping Milly Dowler’s voicemail when she was missing, and as the week progressed, more and more skeletons were brought from the News Corp closet.
The main difference between Milly Dowler and Sienna Miller is that Milly could have been anyone’s daughter. Whilst it was wrong to hack into Miller’s voicemail, in her position as a star, she is detached from the general public, who won’t feel the same connection to her as they do to Milly’s parents.
The police investigation into the hacking scandal will continue. Whatever the outcome of this, the News of the World being pulled on July 7, 2011 could prove to be a watershed for the whole journalism industry moving forwards.
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