Those dreams became a reality on Thursday when News International announced that its final issue of the tabloid would be published Sunday, July 10, in a bid to limit the political and commercial repercussions of the phone hacking scandal.
Allegations of phone hacking at the paper have been rife for years. Hacking into celebrity’s phones is pretty low on the scale of journalism ethics, but this time the NOTW stooped lower than even its most fervent haters could have imagined.
Under the watchful eye of then-editor Rebekah Brooks (who denies all knowledge of such actions), the NOTW allegedly ordered a private investigator to hack into the mobile telephones of murder victim Milly Dowler, families of murdered children Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, relatives of London bombing victims, and members of the armed forces who died in the line of duty. Messages were apparently deleted to allow room for more “story leads.”
Although NOTW is innocent until proven guilty, it seems apparent that—after paying off celebs such as Sienna Miller in phase one of the scandal—these allegations must have at least a little fire behind the smoke, if not a full-blown furnace.