A number of media experts in the UK offered up their views following the decision by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation to close its tabloid News of the World after this Sunday’s edition, as a result of an escalating phone hacking scandal, as follows:
Claire Enders, Head of Enders Analysis Media Consultancy –
“Our view is that this does not mean the News of the World will be closed. It will simply mean that there will be a seven day Sun. The stain on the brand was going to be permanent, and this is a perfectly sensible decision.”
Steven Barnett, Professor of Communications, Westminster University –
“Astonishing. I’m completely gob smacked. Talk about a nuclear option. You’ve got to feel sorry for the people who work on it. There are people who are going to lose their jobs. It could just be a fairly cynical ploy and there will be a new News International Sunday newspaper. It could well be that three months down the line the scandal’s calmed down a bit and they launch a new Sunday tabloid.
“It’s a lightning conductor. “It will certainly take the heat off some of the immediate allegations about journalistic behavior and phone hacking. I suspect that they are fearing the worst in terms of more revelations coming out, and can now turn around and say: ‘What more can we do? We have cut this thing off at the roots. It’s important that we don’t get distracted by this announcement from asking some very serious questions.”
Stephen Adams, fund manager at top 10 BSkyB shareholder Aegon Asset Management –
“We see it as something to restore or remedy a tarnished reputation for the News Corp group. But we also critically see it as a reflection of New Corp’s desire to progress the BSkyB bid and have full ownership of the company.”
An unnamed banker advising European media companies –
“I am very surprised at this, but I still don’t think it is enough for the Sky deal to get through. I think there will still have to be some scalps, including Rebekah Brooks. People are out for blood.”
Tom Watson, opposition Labour Member of Parliament
“Let’s be clear, it’s not Rupert Murdoch that has closed this paper, it is decent families up and down the country who have shown outrage at the revelations that have bombarded this company all week,” he told Sky News. “This is a victory for decent people up and down the land and I say good riddance to the News of the World.”
(Compiled by Paul Hoskins; reporting by Victoria Howley, Stefano Ambrogi and Georgina Prodhan; editing by Rosalba O’Brien)
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