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News Corp. Closing Of News Of The World May Be In Name Only

Reported by Ellen - July 7, 2011 -

As previously posted, the phone hacking scandal at the News Corp./Murdoch tabloid News of the World, has now caused the demise of that long-running paper. But it looks like the move may be largely symbolic and that the paper could soon re-emerge as a Sunday version of another News Corp. publication. It's worth noting that that paper has also been implicated in the hacking scandal.

The BBC is reporting:

(News of the World owner) News International has refused to comment on rumours that The Sun could now become a seven-day-a-week operation.

"What happens to The Sun is a matter for the future", a spokeswoman for News International said. The Sun, another News International tabloid, is currently published from Monday to Saturday.

The spokeswoman also refused to say whether the 200 or so employees at the paper would be made redundant, saying: "They will be invited to apply for other jobs in the company."

The Guardian reported,

There are already industry rumours that the News of the World's stablemate the Sun could be turned into a seven-day operation. News International has already announced plans to move to seven-day working across its four titles – the Sun, News of the World, the Times and Sunday Times – and the internet domain name thesunonsunday.co.uk was registered two days ago, although the purchaser's identity is unclear.

...The closure of the paper is a dramatic move designed to assuage public anger at shocking revelations about the behaviour of its journalists, but it is unlikely that NI's printing presses will be left idle on a Sunday

.

One has to wonder if the sacrifice of News of the World - and its many innocent employees - will really staunch the bleeding.

Meanwhile, The Independent (found via Media Matters) reported in February about allegations of hacking at The Sun, the entity into which News of the World may be folded:

Detectives are looking into allegations that a second newspaper at Rupert Murdoch's News International may have used hacked voicemails to publish stories about the private life of a prominent public figure.

Andy Gilchrist, a former union leader, has asked Scotland Yard to investigate his belief that interception of his mobile phone messages led to negative stories about him appearing in The Sun at the height of an acrimonious national strike by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).

He is the first public figure to suggest that the illegal technique was carried out for stories that ran in News International's best-selling daily title, rather than its Sunday red-top, the News of the World (NOTW).

One of the stories, headlined "Fire strike leader is a love cheat", appeared in The Sun during the first week of its editorship by Rebekah Brooks following her transfer from the NOTW.

Also, let's not forget that it was The Sun who published the Princess Di "Squidgygate" tapes. To quote from its 2008 article: In our 1992 scoop, we printed extracts from an intercepted phone call between Di and car dealer Gilbey, then 33.

You really have to wonder how far up and how far back this scandal goes - and whether or not it extends to the United States. Regardless, I somehow doubt this will be the end of the story.



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