The News of the World newspaper will be closed down after Sunday, 168 years after its first publication. Its 200 staff are to be laid off, although they will have the opportunity to apply for jobs elsewhere in the parent company. The newspaper will be shut down on account of serious misconduct by previous management, under the aegis of the same parent company.
That company, News Corp or News International, is interested only in making money, which in itself is not a bad thing. The methods they deploy through their various pieces of toiletpaper, otherwise known as tabloid newspapers, are. Who the h*** do they think they are to announce that they will support this or that political party, thereby determining the outcome of a general election? But then, it was a piece of television journalism that led to today's subtractive coalition government in London, by placing the Lib Dem leader, Nick Clegg, on the same platform as Labour and Conservative Party leaders Brown and Cameron.
In principle, I have nothing against journalists as a group. I have a lot of respect for newspaper, television and radio journalists who, through uncomfortable questioning, elicit responses from (e.g.) politicians and others to eke out their true intentions and opinions. But to use illegal methods, such as phone tapping, is not acceptable. It does not matter whether we're talking about people in the limelight, or about victims of crime or war. The law is the law, and those that sanction such methods should face the consequences. And that goes as high as the Murdochs, whose empire I am ranting against.
It's not the News of the World that should be shut down. It's the Murdoch empire that ought to be ditched.