Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Boycotts loom for disgraced News of the World

So heinous, so despicable, so deficient in human charity for the first time in nearly 400 posts I am lost for words in my disgust.
I speak, of course, of revelations about the alleged hacking of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler’s mobile phone by the News of the World in 2002.
Apart from the intrusion of privacy, deleting voicemail messages to make room for fresh ones brought false hope to Milly’s family she was still alive – and hampered the police inquiry.
This is the moment the public wakes up to the fact the phone hacking scandal reaches beyond rich celebrities and rides roughshod over ordinary families who, usually, tragedy has propelled into the headlines.
The parents of murdered Soham children Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman may be among others to have their phones hacked by the newspaper.
The question is what sanctions can be taken against the News of the World immediately.
It looks as though Rebekah Brooks, editor of the NoW in 2002 and promoted by Rupert Murdoch to head his News International media empire – will try to tough it out insisting she knew nothing about the hacking.
Meanwhile, it is probably too late to stop Murdoch acquiring 100 per cent of BSkyB. Once police inquiries are completed, the Ofcom watchdog can investigate whether his company is “fit and proper” to own any of the satellite broadcaster.
Then there are calls for a public inquiry – all well and good but hardly lancing the boil that is the NoW swiftly.
Only an attack on revenue will force the company to come clean in the shortest time.
Roy Greenslade, a pillar of The Guardian's media analysis, is calling on the public to boycott the News of the World and apply pressure on advertisers and media buyers not to book space and to cancel existing campaigns.
It's reported Ford has withdrawn its advertising for the time being; Npower, Halifax, T-Mobile may follow. Other companies Tesco, Virgin Media, and easyJet are also reviewing their advertising accounts.
The NoW had better heed the lesson of its sister paper. To this day The Sun is banned in many Merseyside homes 22 years after the Murdoch paper libelled the conduct of Liverpool football fans in the Hillsborough stadium disaster.


  1. The News of the World has in its time ran some great public interest campaigns, including campaigns against paedophilia. However, by penetrating the mobile phone voice mail of a dead young girl murder victim, it too has entered the world of necrophilia and paedophilia and so lost its readers. Some would argue that we get the press that we deserve because of our voracious, salacious appetite. Well the [news of the] world has now turned full circle. It is now the victim of its cynicism regarding its own reading public. "Sick" is the word most used by its public to describe their feelings.

  2. It was always only a matter of time for it to be realized that the phone hackers do not care for anybody's privacy; very much a reason therefore not to turn a blind eye to the hacking of royalty, politicians and celebrities. Talking of royalty [Charles and Diana] etc, we never did get an explanation of how their live telephone conversations were intercepted and published.


What do you think? GC