The News of the World newspaper is to close this Sunday following allegations that many staff working for and on its behalf had allegedly hacked into the phone accounts of those from the likes of famous celebrities to the relatives of servicemen killed in wars from the Middle East.
The scandal had gone on for many months, which led to the swift withdrawal this week of advertising from major companies. A shock announcement was made earlier today by owners News International to close the newspaper, which is currently the UK’s best selling Sunday.
There could be no doubt that front-line staff working for NotW will be sacrificed as a result of the poor decisions made by senior management.
Much as many dislike what NotW had done, why are they being targeted? Is this being used to scupper NI’s proposed takeover of satellite company British Sky Broadcasting (as I’ve posted here)? Make no mistake, this goes far wider than just the problems at NotW. Other newspapers, and indeed other organisations, may have probably used tactics similar to those at NotW to illegally obtain information and to publish it without bothering to check the facts. Surely it is time for them to come clean as well.
It must be very frustrating for those at the receiving end of such actions to get any sort of redress (the police are already struggling to investigate the ones they know about), while there is a sense of failure on our politicians, still reeling from the issue over their expenses, to get to grips with what is going on.
The issue of phone-hacking cannot be white-washed away. We need to know the full facts of what went on, and for those responsible to have their day in a court of law.