Sunday, July 10, 2011

IT REALLY IS THE END OF THE WORLD

End of the News of the World, that is. Final edition was today, and it sold like hotcakes.

(Well, I guess that crazy end-of-the-world preacher was sort of right with his prediction.)

The paper was a sad victim of its own excesses when it came to scooping the competition with its over-the-line phone hacking. Owner Rupert Murdoch had to do something drastic to contain the damage being done to the rest of the News Corporation empire as a result of what was going on at the NOTW.

I worry this drastic measure won't be enough for the bloodthirsty politicians, though, who are going to likely declare open season on the free press in the UK and on Murdoch in particular. These politicians will probably try and dictate exactly the kind of content it wants from the media through more government-controlled rules and regulations, all because one reprehensible newspaper didn't have the good sense to know when to quit.

Needless to say, the News of the World approach to journalism - this scandal-mongering, prying-into-other-peoples'-business type of reporting - is not my style, nor is it particularly what I want to read. I used to work one time at a place that expected reporters to always be confrontational and pry into peoples' business whether they liked it or not. Simply put, I wasn't allowed to be myself at that job.

Still, I worry what will be in store for the rest of these papers when they have to deal with these politicians. I am less worried about the News of the World's executives who now will likely be on the receiving end of criminal penalties for their activity. Good riddance to them, frankly.

The folks I feel sorriest for are the rank and file at that paper who lost their jobs. They were the ones probably ordered around by the bosses to do this hacking into mobile phones to begin with, just to keep their jobs. As usual, they get the shaft.

The Sun has the obit of the News of the World's history here.

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