I bought the last copy of The News of The World last Sunday. Not because I supported the paper in any way shape or form but, from a professional point of view, I wanted to own a piece of publishing history. I can’t remember a time in my whole life ( almost half a century) an instance of a newspaper closing down in the midst of such a scandal.
However, I have heard a lot of people talking about how we should celebrate the fact that ‘people power’ and public opinion closed a newspaper. In fact on Friday’s edition of Newsnight, the founder of Mumsnet said; ” we saw what social media can do…when individual people decide to take direct action…ordinary people on Facebook, on Twitter, on Mumsnet have made a difference.
Errr…I don’t think so
Come on now folks, lets’ not kid ourselves that it was ‘people power’ that closed this newspaper. As Will Self said on Newsnight it was ‘the people’ that bought the paper year in year out because of their “ubiquitous appetite for what the gutter press have peddled.”
It was, in my opinion, a carefully orchestrated move by the Murdoch empire to try and ensure that the Government had no grounds to refer NewsCorp’s bid for BSkyB to the OFT. In fact in an article in the Guardian back on 30th June: News International facing job losses , it was reported that Rebekah Brooks had sent an e-mail to staff saying: “Let me be absolutely clear: there are tough decisions coming. Costs will need to be cut and savings made in overheads and personnel… and that “a seven-day operation will be a reality in some common areas.” Additionally, the article stated that earlier that week: “News International announced there would be a single managing editor for the Times and Sunday Times, and another for the Sun and News of the World, in an indication that the daily and Sunday titles are preparing to pool some editorial resources in a move to a seven day operation in some areas. Previously each of the four titles had a dedicated managing editor.”
Then there was the regsitration of the sunonsunday.co.uk on 5th July – which News International have taken ownership of today.
And while the bid has indeed now been referred – how long before Newscorp no longer owns News International? We shall see.
A celebration of people power? Don’t make me laugh. A lot of ordinary people lost their jobs last week because of a few bad apples. Rebekah Brooks still has hers. Not much to celebrate there.