Thursday, July 7, 2011

NOTW demise changes nothing

    Now that my two nanoseconds of euphoria over the NOTW's demise has passed over, I can't help but view James Murdoch's action with more than a dash of cynicism.

    I would agree that, commercially, the closure makes sense - the paper was haemhorraging advertising revenue and a large scale boycott was inevitable. Given the nature of recent revelations there was probably little that News International could do to reclaim whatever little reputation the rag ever had. I do feel for those who will lose their jobs as a result of the criminal actions of others.

    It is a drastic move by any standards, but it is unlikely that closure was due to any noble intent. I doubt that James Murdoch had any real concern for the hurt done to  the families of Millie Dowler, Jessica Chapman, Holly Wells, the 7/7 victims and the servicemen killed in Iraq or Afghanistan.

    The only victim that a Murdoch cares for, I am sure, is a Murdoch. The NOTW allegations have damaged their company's reputation especially here in the UK.  Murdoch in all probability shut the paper in an attempt to safeguard its takeover of the satellite broadcaster BSkyB.

    It is unlikely that other papers will be allowed to capitalise on the NOTW's absence. A new Sunday publication, (perhaps or perhaps not a Sunday edition of the Sun) will replace it within a few weeksy.A "clean slate" and lots of tits and celebrity shagging (but no hacking, honest guv) and Newscorp will be raking in the Sunday money again.

    The NOTW's closure must not derail any investigations into its past actions. The public inquiry must go ahead straight away. Its terms should be extended to determine whether other papers have committed similar acts.

    We need to know the following:

    • the FULL extent of the NOTW's phone hacking activities
    • the journalists directly responsible for commissioning these acts.

    • The full extent of complicity of management, right up to the top echelons of Newscorp
    • Full details of illegal payments to police officers
    It is not just the NOTW, it is important that the Metropolitan Police's previous handling of investigations are scrutinised Were they compromised by illegal payments? In addition the role of politicians needs to be looked at.

    News International must also suspend its Chief Executive forthwith. Rebekah Brooks was NOTW editor at the time of some of the worst transgressions. No proper   internal investigation can take place while she has access to company records. If she was complicit in any way then she must be dismissed and, if sufficient evidence is available, stand trial.

    The Press Complaints Commission must be abolished. It is clearly not fit for purpose.

    The Newscorp takeover of BSyB must be stopped. The company is currently not fit to extend its media influence. It would be desirable if Newscorp was forced to offload its press holdings in the UK. That said would new owners be much better (Thinks of Maxwell and Black)

    I could go on.It is good and not good news that the NOTW is no more but thee are essential lessons that need to be learned. Do not let the Murdochs derail things.Source URL:
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