Tomorrow will see the News of the World have its last edition before being sacrificed upon the altar of the Murdoch World Empire. While not a reader of the paper, I do think that the cutting of the title, and the staff involved, is a move that is bold and/or callous.
Lets face it, the cutting of the title is nothing to Murdoch, not when compared to the big prize of the BSkyB ownership. No of course not. For me, this is playing to the saying of “there is no such thing as bad publicity”. For my drive home on Thursday night, I had nothing but wall to wall coverage of every time James Murdoch spoke, and every breath Rebekah Brookes took a deep breath in. If Murdoch really cared about his paper, then he would have known that sales would have been down for a week or so, but would have come back quite quickly once the next big scandal had broken.
But the key here was to try to show that the Empire could empathise with the public, but fell short when Rebekah Brookes stayed in post and has been highlighted for the sham publicity stunt it really is.
Actually the one victim I almost feel sorry for is David Cameron, he hired Andy Coulson on assurances that all was ok, and has been pretty much shafted. He will not be allowed to forget that lack of judgement and may even be his Achilles heel, that can always be irritated whenever required.
In reality, another Sunday rag will be born, probably the Sun on Sunday, and life will go on. The big question is will the Government have the guts to pull the shutters on Murdoch’s empire building. If it doesn’t then public confidence will be shot, if it does then it can say bye bye to any decent media coverage, ever! Though that won’t be saying much, as Labour has pretty much made sure that it won’t get any advantage in that quarter either.
What good will really come out of this? I can’t see what we, the paying punters, will gain. What is a “free press”, does it really exist? Will it become more “free” after tomorrow?
- You: Phone Scandal Poses Defining Test for a Murdoch Son (nytimes.com)
- Why Rupert Murdoch’s reign may be over (theglobeandmail.com)
- Murdoch heads to London to address phone-hacking scandal (news.nationalpost.com)
- Who benefits by Rupert Murdoch sacrificing the ‘News of the World’? (dangerousminds.net)