News of the World

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News of The World

The News of the World was a UK-based tabloid newspaper published by News International. It closed in July 2011 amidst scandal over the paper's involvement in phone-hacking.[1]


The News of The World was owned by Rupert Murdoch’s organisation News International.

Rupert Murdoch moved production of the newspaper away from its traditional home in Fleet Street to new premises in Wapping East London in 1986. The move was designed to modernise production practices, reduce costs and perhaps more importantly remove the influence of the powerful Fleet Street print unions. According to journalist Nick Davies the move to Wapping "Released a chain reaction of internal changes which have had a devastating effect on truth-telling journalism". [2]


Tommy Sheridan

Prominent Socialist politician and activist Tommy Sheridan won £200,000 in damages after suing the News of the World for libel in August 2006[3]. The libel action by the former Socialist MSP concerned allegations that he was a serial adulterer and swinger who used drugs[4]. Bob Bird the Scottish editor of the News of the World appealed against the verdict arguing that "eighteen independent witnesses came to this court and committed monstrous acts of perjury"[5]. The News of The World appeal has been suspended pending the result of a perjury trial against Tommy Sheridan and his wife Gail which is due to start in January 2010.

Max Mosley

The News of the World paid the FIA president Max Mosley £60,000 in damages after a High Court Judge ruled that Mosley's privacy had been breached in a story that accused Mosley of taking part in a Nazi themed orgy. Mosley denied the orgy had a Nazi element[6].

Phone Bugging Convictions 2007

In 2007 the royal editor of the News of the World, Clive Goodman, was jailed for four months for plotting to intercept voicemail messages left for royal aides. He was convicted of tapping into several hundred messages. Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months after pleading guilty to the same charge. David Cameron's chief press advisor Andy Coulson was the News of the World editor at the time and he resigned admitting that he took responsibility for the scandal[7].

Further Phone Bugging Allegations 2009

According to allegations in The Guardian Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, was paid more than £400,000 damages in a settlement designed to stop him taking legal action against the News of The World over his claims that the newspaper had illegaly hacked into his phone[8].

According to Nick Davies writing in The Guardian David Cameron's chief press adviser Andy Coulson, while editor of the News of the World, was responsible for editorial staff who were involved with private investigators who engaged in illegal phone-hacking. Davies goes on to allege that "while Coulson was deputy editor, reporters and executives were commissioning multiple purchases of confidential information, which is illegal unless it is proved to be in the public interest"[9].

Media monopoly

MPs protested against Murdoch's acquisition of The Times and The Sunday Times because of the effect a media monopoly could have on democracy in the United Kingdom. This was because Murdoch already owned The Sun and The News of The World. A report by the Labour Government in 2001 said, "A healthy democracy depends on a culture of dissent and argument, which would inevitably be diminished if there were only a limited number of providers of news"[10].

The main concern with Rupert Murdoch's media monopoly is that he could use it to manipulate public opinion and therefore put pressure on politicians who oppose his business interests. In October 2003 in the United States a study by the nonpartisan Program on International Policy Attitudes showed that 60% of U.S. citizens believed either that: clear evidence had been found of links between Iraq and Al Qaeda; W.M.D. had been found in Iraq; world public opinion favored the U.S. going to war with Iraq. 80% of the people who believed these falsehoods received their news primarily from Rupert Murdoch's Fox News.

The media interests of News International in the United Kingdom include:

In the United States Rupert Murdoch's Newscorp owns:





Ian Edmondson | Clive Goodman | Ross Hindley | Sean Hoare


Alex Marunchak | Greg Miskew | Paul McMullan | Neville Thurlbeck | Neil Wallis

ABC and readership figures


  1. News of the World's last edition reads 'Thank you & goodbye',, 9 July 2011.
  2. Nick Davies, Flat Earth News (2008), London: Chatto & Windus
  3. BBC News, Sheridan victory in court battle, BBC News, 4-August-2006, Accessed 17-July-2009
  4. BBC News, Sheridan victory in court battle, BBC News, 4-August-2006, Accessed 17-July-2009
  5. BBC News, Sheridan victory in court battle, BBC News, 4-August-2006, Accessed 17-July-2009
  6. BBC News,Mosley wins court case over orgy, BBC News, 24-July-2008, Accessed 17-July-2009
  7. BBC News, Pair jailed over royal phone taps, BBC News, 26-January-2007, Accessed 17-July-2009
  8. Nick Davies, Trail of hacking and deceit under nose of Tory PR chief, The Guardian, 8-July-2009, Accessed 17-July-2009
  9. Nick Davies, Trail of hacking and deceit under nose of Tory PR chief, The Guardian, 8-July-2009, Accessed 17-July-2009
  10. Department for Culture Media and Sport,Media Ownership Rules, November-2001, Accessed 19-January-2009
  11. Richard Wray, Murdoch faces scrutiny over media influence, 25-May-2007, Accessed 19-January-2009