News of the World

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The News of the World (or News of the Screws as it was often called) was a British tabloid newspaper famous for sensationalist obsessive journalism but occasionally for some very good and revealing investigative work too. It was originally conceived as a broadsheet newspaper in 1843 - making it one of the oldest newspapers and longest lived in the world - but was re-organised into the red-top tabloid it became famous for being after being bought by Rupert Murdoch's News International.[1]

The Screws screws up[edit]

It was eventually killed off by its owner, Rupert Murdoch, in July 2011 after it was revealed that its reporters had engaged in hacking a number of people's cell phones, including the phone of a murdered teenager. The phone hacking scandal started very early in 2011 with the revelations that the paper had hacked the phones of major politicians. The general response to this seemed to be "so fucking what" but by the middle of the year it was revealed that the paper had gone beyond such "fair game" targets and onto innocent people. Reporter and general slime ball Paul McMullen (who was at the centre of the scandal and looked increasingly weathered by it as it evolved) maintained that it was all in the public interest; however, former deputy Prime Minister John Prescott seemed unimpressed, asking whether anyone in the audience of 10 O'Clock Live would be "in the public interest" if they did anything even remotely important, and where the distinction would lie. Such a definition eventually became moot as soon as it was revealed that The News of the World didn't bother with such a distinction and had hacked the phones of terrorism victims and even murder victim Milly Dowler. The latter was particularly noteworthy because the investigators who had hacked the phone found the voicemail inbox to be full and so deleted old messages to make room for more, giving the false impression that Dowler was still alive and had access to her phone.[2][3]

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References[edit]