By early 2011 the NotW was losing control of the story, and made the tactical decision to make a public apology and give compensation to 8 (maybe more) claimants. I have no doubt that Mr Murdoch had intended that this be the end of the matter. Either he was ignorant of the sheer scale of the use of hacking, or he took a calculated risk and lost...either way, this wasn't the end of it.
This brings us to the present...at the beginning of July The Guardian (the unofficial anti-Murdoch crusaders) released yet another damning story. The story was to take the scandal to a while new level, and be the final nail in the coffin for the NotW. Milly Dowler.
went missing in March 2002 and 6 months later her body was found. She had been murdered by Levi Bellfield. The allegation is that the News of the World hacked Milly's phone, listened to the frantic messages left by family and friends, and then deleted some to clear space for more. The police identified that messages had been deleted, leading them to believe that Milly was still alive, giving hope to her family. This took the hacking scandal from a bit of controversy that effected ritch celebs, to a truly deplorable act that everyone in the country found sickening.
Demonstrating again the power of social media ordinary members of the public took it upon themselves to start boycotting the paper, adding a new dimension of pressure.
Yesterday, 7th July 2011, it was announced that the paper would close its doors after 168 years in print...and rightly so.
|The Murdoch Monster|
I see the closure of NotW as a huge opportunity for our press. Murdoch's empire needs breaking up and the monopoly needs to end. I want to see the return of the sensible and measured press who understand the influence they possess and take that seriously.
Unfortunately i don't think this is going to happen, News Corp is safe. The opportunity comes from their damaged reputation, and small independent newspapers should strike while the iron is hot and get their foot in the door before Murdoch's Monster climbs to its feet again.