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Showing posts from July, 2011

Lilliputians Question Murdoch

My initial thoughts on the much anticipated appearance of the Murdochs before the Commons Culture Committee are on the TRG's Egremont blog.

Sun Hacking Continues

In amongst the escalating scalps and the tragedy of a dead reporter, the hacking of News International has taken a new turn with the Sun's own website being hacked this evening, thanks to the mysterious twitterfeed of The Lulz Boat. Their original replacement site was this story (courtesy of our old friends at Media Watch) about Murdoch's death, which proved so popular that it crashed! Now they've just redirected to their twitter feed, with such ditties as: We have joy, we have fun, we have messed up Murdoch's Sun.

Sometimes hacking can be really worthwhile!

The Last News of the World

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I did wonder whether to buy a copy of the last News of the World. It would also have been the first copy I ever bought too, and in readiness I glanced across its online pages this morning, to see what I would be getting in my last, closing down souvenir issue. The headline, "Thankyou and Goodbye" is a fair enough one, running across a montage of previous front pages. I could then have read about ""Harry's Flo looking good in drag", seen a celebration of "page three cheers - the very breast pics", read about "Michelle's Huge Parts", read an article about Coronation Street's sliding ratings or examined "Kelly's slinky legs" at my pleasure. It wasn't difficult to keep my cash in my pocket and forego the dubious pleasure of a last News of the World.

I did check out one further part of the website - the 47 page collection of their best front pages, and as I was reading these, I realised how much better our Sunda…

Farewell to the Screws

Great piece by Steven Baxter - ex of SGS - on the New Statesman blog about the News of the World's demise. Baxter points out that the 'Screws' owes its destruction to a culture that it has itself helped to create and maintain - the "do something now even if we don't know all the facts" culture. It's a pretty devastating indictment of the levels to which the tabloid journalism espoused by the 'Screws' has fallen:

We don't know what the outcome will be of various investigations, inquiries and hearings, including the one overseen by Brooks herself at News International. But people couldn't wait for all that to unfold: they demanded something be done now. If they jumped the gun and jumped to conclusions based on limited evidence, they were only acting the way they had been taught to by the News of the World itself.

He goes on to elaborate:

"We will be passing our dossier to the police." Those words appeared at the end of News of …

News of the World Closure

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The stunning announcement that the News of the World will close after this Sunday's edition is a far more nuclear announcement than was being anticipated from News International. It is extraordinary, and many will assume that it is only right that a paper now so sullied should fold. Perhaps it even sends a salutary message. The News of the World was Britain's best selling daily, and it has not proved immune from the ramifications of its wrong-doing. It is, it seems, a stunning victory for the forces of good.

And yet. The extraordinary announcement manages to leave a bitter taste in the mouth. After all, no-one is claiming that it is the paper's current leadership and reporters who have been responsible for the scandals currently engulfing it. The current investigations relate to an ethos and practice that dates back to at least 2002, and the person who was responsible for setting that paper's standards, as the editor, was Rebekah Brooks, now the person presiding …

A Tale of Our Times

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Hubris, it seems, comes to everyone in time, even apparently invulnerable and all conquering media magnates. Or so it must seem to anyone observing the News International saga at the moment. For years Rupert Murdoch has bestrode the British political scene. Unencumbered by the menial requirements of mere voters such as British citizenship or the need to pay taxes he has wielded more power and influence over prime ministers and putative prime ministers than any British citizen. His editors have been the satraps of his power, the unelected viziers demanding their preferred politics from timid, beleaguered politicians.

How things have changed. Like many revolutions, this one has been boiling under the surface for years but has suddenly, and largely without warning, burst onto the scene. In so doing, it is not only changing the way in which things are being done, but shedding an illuminating light on the darker corners of the British polity.

On changes, Steve Richards in a trenchant p…