I don’t like the News of the World but I like closing newspapers even less. This is Rupert Murdoch trying to get out of a very deep hole. What about the staff who are suddenly on the dole when no senior person loses their job and the main charges are still unanswered? There are many good journalists who will be sickened by these developments.
I think we will see a new paper launched by Murdoch – The Sun on Sunday perhaps? We must have a proper enquiry on the hacking issue which many believe was not limited to the News of the World. Also about the payments to police – remember Rebekah Brooks confession to the Select Committee when she said it did happen? She still has her job. The hypocrisy runes very deep. If this had been a politician they would be hounded out of office. I find it hard to believe that Rupert Murdoch knew nothing about this and even less likely that Rebekah Brooks knew nothing about it.
So what is needed? Obviously the police have to continue their work but a judge led enquiry would ensure that both hacking and police payments could be looked at in a way that might satisfy an angry public. I do think the BSkyB deal has to be stopped. News International is not a fit organisation to gain yet more control over the media. Finally the role of the Press Complaints Commission needs to re examined. When it was launched it was a very weak body. It is better now but still not strong enough. Conciliation is fine up to a point but if it is to be an effective regulator then it needs a much clearer role and the ability to really hold newspapers to account.