The end of an era for British tabloids?

July 7, 2011

No sooner had our special report today on British tabloids hit the wire than Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp shocked everybody by announcing it would close down the 168-year-old News of the World.

Steven Barnett, professor of communications at London’s Westminster University, spoke for a lot of people when he said of the news: ”Astonishing. I’m completely gobsmacked. Talk about a nuclear option.”

The big question now is what happens to Rebekah Brooks, a close confidant of Rupert Murdoch and a friend of Prime Minister David Cameron. Her editorship of the News of the World a decade ago is at the heart of some of the gravest accusations about phone-hacking at the paper.

Our story by Mark Hosenball and Kate Holton asks what makes British tabloids tick — and what makes them different from newspapers in other countries.

Read the (updated) story “Murdoch row – why UK tabloids bin-dive and blag” in PDF format here.

6 comments

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That’s Murdoch’s way of flipping you all off.. Long live king Murdoch!

Posted by jomondo44 | Report as abusive

Closing the paper instead of firing the people and starting fresh sends the wrong message,.

Posted by visualseed | Report as abusive

From a USA media point of view, this is all about trying to take out FOX News because they are owned by Rupert Murdoch. FOX has been a thorn in the side of the mainstream media because it presents conservative viewpoints which are in direct contrast to the NY/Hollywood media and has a huge American audience.

Posted by vincehugh | Report as abusive

Yeah, sure buddy, it’s a conspiracy against Rupert Murdoch, by NY/Hollywood media.

No wonder this country is going into the dumps, it’s people are brainwashed.

Posted by StopRunning | Report as abusive

“From a USA media point of view, this is all about trying to take out FOX News” vincehugh Jul 8, 2011
8:10 am EDT

What has this got to do with FOX NEWS? That is a complete red herring and shows your lack of understanding of the situation. NOTW and the Murdoch empire’s criminal actions have been exposed and they are paying the price.

“Closing the paper instead of firing the people and starting fresh sends the wrong message”.. wrong. Most of the staff were new and played no part in the criminal scandel. In any case closing the paper was the same as firing the staff, expect that the person with chioef responsibility was retained and given special protection by the Murdochs. How thick is that. NI deserves all it gets.

Posted by smartermind | Report as abusive

smartermind, the problem is leadership at Rupert Murdoch’s media agencies. To simply fire the culpable people sends precisely the wrong message as those usually fired are fall guys. No CEO is ever dumb enough to admit wrong doing. That is a financial liability. By the way did you see the bonuses Rupert handed out to himself and his sons?

In the 1960s when I was growing up there was a “Rule of Sevens” the in the news business. A corporation or individual could not own more than seven TV stations, seven printed publications and sven radio stations. Of the almost 30,000 such media companies today, approximately 22,000 are owned by either GE, Westinghouse, Viacom, The Tribune, Fox News and Clear Channel. Their ownership is not always direct but through subsidiaries (conglomerates). The erosion of these rules by the FCC has been directed by every President since Carter.

Westinghouse, GE and Viacom are all military contractors for the U.S.. The Trib, Fox and Clear Channel are all heavy contributors to the RNC. I believe all six of these corporations to have excessive influence over our political process. They also have influence over what is reported as news and what is not. This is why the rest of the world refers to U.S. news agencies as corporate media. I think their assesment is correct. Every thing is about their bottom line. You know, fiduciary responsibility to the stock holders and all.

Posted by coyotle | Report as abusive