Rupert Murdoch’s son, James, told his 200 staff that the last edition of the biggest selling English-language newspaper would be published this weekend. There will be no commercial advertising and the last edition’s revenues will be donated to good causes.
“The good things the News of the World does have been sullied by behaviour that was wrong. Indeed, if recent allegations are true, it was inhuman and has no place in our company…The News of the World is in the business of holding others to account. But it failed when it came to itself,” said James Murdoch to his staff.
“As a result, the News of the World and News International wrongly maintained that these issues were confined to one reporter. Having consulted senior colleagues, I have decided that we must take further decisive action with respect to the paper. This Sunday will be the last issue of the News of the World,” added he.
Murdoch’s 200 staff reacted to the decision with anger and asserted they were innocent victims. The newspaper’s associate editor, David Wooding, said: “The problem is, all these decent hard-working distinguished journalists are carrying the can for the sins of the previous regime. I don’t think they could have done any more to cleanse the News of the World.”
Leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband, said that the closure was “a big act,” but it would not solve “the real issues.” He acknowledged that the allegations were quite astonishing.
“What I’m interested in is not closing down newspapers, I’m interested in those who were responsible being brought to justice and those who have responsibility for the running of that newspaper taking their responsibility and I don’t think those two things have happened today,” Miliband added.
The newspaper’s staff has claimed that Murdoch sacrificed the paper in order to make sure his attempts to take over the satellite broadcaster BSkyB would pay off. Miliband has already called for the deal to be blocked.