News of the World hacking scandal
Rolling updates as News Corp announces the closure of the 168-year-old Sunday tabloid.
- Good morning, welcome to our live coverage of Labour leader Ed Miliband's speech on the future of media. The leader of the main opposition party will begin speaking at 8am BST, and you can watch a live stream on this page or on uk.reuters.com
- Here's a preview of what Miliband is expected to say by my colleague Karolina Tagaris - uk.reuters.com
- Reuters' Joel Dimmock (@ReutersJoelD) tweets: "Will be interesting to see if #Milliband softens attack on Brooks/Murdoch with focus on PCC, Cameron."
- The media watchdog is "toothless" and should be scrapped, opposition leader Ed Miliband is expected to say on Friday after a phone-hacking scandal sent shockwaves across the country and led to the closure of a top-selling tabloid. uk.reuters.com
- Ed Miliband liveblog here: bit.ly looks like he wants to scrap the Press Complaints Commission reut.rsby felix salmon via twitter 7/8/2011 6:39:46 AM
- Before Miliband gets going, let's have a round up of the latest news on the News of the World hacking scandal.
- - A former senior aide to Prime Minister David Cameron faced arrest on Friday over his alleged role in a phone-hacking scandal that prompted Rupert Murdoch to close Britain's biggest selling Sunday newspaper.
- In a startling response to the scandal engulfing Murdoch's media empire, the British newspaper arm of News Corp announced it would publish the 168-year-old News of the World for the last time this weekend.
- As allegations multiplied that its journalists hacked the voicemail of thousands of people, from child murder victims to the families of war dead, the tabloid haemorrhaged advertising, alienated millions of readers and posed a growing threat to Murdoch's hopes of buying broadcaster BSkyB.
- The scandal has also become an embarrassment for Cameron.
The prime minister chose former News of the World editor Andy Coulson as his communications director, even though one of Coulson's reporters and a private investigator had been convicted of hacking into the phones of royal aides. Coulson insisted he knew nothing about it, but as new allegations surfaced, Coulson resigned from Cameron's team in January.
The Guardian reported that Coulson would be arrested on Friday over suspicions that he knew about or had direct involvement in phone hacking during his editorship of the News of the World from 2003-2007.
- Murdoch's son James, who chairs the British newspaper arm of News Corp, said the News of the World, which his father bought in 1969, had been "sullied by behaviour that was wrong."
"Indeed, if recent allegations are true, it was inhuman and has no place in our company," he said in a statement.
- The announcement that the paper's final issue will be on Sunday may even be a signal that the famously excessive practices of British tabloid journalism will be less prevalent in future.
- The news came as a shock to the 200 staff at the paper, which from its earliest days in the Victorian era sought to titillate the working class with sensational journalism about sex and crime.
"No one had any inkling at all that this was going to happen," said Jules Stenson, its features editor.
- Growing popular and political anger over the phone hacking saga had spurred concerns that there could be snags in securing government approval for News Corp's $14-billion (8.77 billion pounds) bid for BSkyB, of which it already owns 39 percent.
Cameron's government has given an informal blessing to the takeover, despite criticism on the left that it gave Murdoch too much media power.
- Speculation is rife that the company will turn The Sun, its best-selling tabloid daily, into a seven-day operation to tap the Sunday market. Despite difficult times for newspapers, the News of the World sold 2.6 million copies a week.
(reporting by By Kate Holton and Georgina Prodhan) uk.reuters.com
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- Reuters UK and Ireland Bureau chief will be on stage shortly to introduce Labour leader Ed Miliband.
- RT @fieldproducer: Prime Minister David Cameron to hold a press conference at 0930 to address #NOTW phone hacking scandalby Anthony De Rosa via twitter 7/8/2011 6:50:34 AM
- RT @reutersJoelD: Milliband will have a chance to set the agenda before Cameron press conf at 9.30am. Let's see if he takes it. t ...by Anthony De Rosa via twitter 7/8/2011 6:54:28 AM
- We should be starting in a few minutes
- So, we now know that after Miliband's speech, PM David Cameron will hold a news conference at 0930 BST to address the phone hacking scandal. He'll also take questions from reporters.
- Jodie Ginsberg is now introducing Labour leader Ed Miliband.
- Reuters UK/IRL bureau chief @jodieginsberg now introducing Ed Milibandby Anthony De Rosa via twitter 7/8/2011 7:03:46 AM
- The scandal here isn't that #NotW didn't seek the truth, more that it sought the truth too aggressively, and broke the law in doing so.by felix salmon via twitter 7/8/2011 7:03:48 AM
- Ed Miliband now speakingby Anthony De Rosa via twitter 7/8/2011 7:04:00 AM
- Miliband: I felt it was right at the end of a tumultuous week for British journalism to take a step back and to reflect on what it all means.
And I am glad I can do it here at the London headquarters of an internationally renowned news organisation that for more than for 160 years has maintained its independence and its integrity.
- "Now is the time for strong leadership" - Ed Milibandby Anthony De Rosa via twitter 7/8/2011 7:04:53 AM
- Reuters: we're almost as old as the #NotW!by felix salmon via twitter 7/8/2011 7:05:00 AM
- Miliband: A strong, vital press is at the heart of our democracy. We must protect it and defend it.
- Miliband: Second, politicians must be wary of tampering with the precious institution of the free press.
- Miliband: And yet there come moments when it is up to us to defend, not ourselves, but the public from parts of the press.
- RT @jodieginsberg: A strong vital press is at the heart of our democracy: Miliband at Reuters newsmakerby Anthony De Rosa via twitter 7/8/2011 7:07:57 AM
- Miliband: Politicians need to take the greatest care in addressing the issue of press freedom
- Miliband: And the relation between politicians and the press has always been fraught.
The history of politicians complaining about bias, character assassination and falsehoods in the press goes back a long way and certainly predates the invention of the internet, the arrival of Rupert Murdoch in Britain.
- Miliband: What happens when parts of journalism do not do right by the public?
- Miliband wants to "stand up for the people against those who would exercise power without responsibility"by felix salmon via twitter 7/8/2011 7:09:57 AM
- Miliband: For too long, the political class have been too concerned about what people in the press would think and too fearful of speaking out.
We must all bear responsibility for that.
My party has not been immune from it.
Nor has the current government.
- Miliband: But the truth is that we have all been lagging behind the public’s rising sense of anger and indignation about the methods and culture of sections of the press.
- Miliband: But there are moments in our national life when the public looks to political leaders not just to express sentiment, but to accept the responsibility for leading the call for change.
This is such a moment.
- Miliband: This week, the dam burst
- Miliband is right that politicians have been afraid to respond to the public's anger at the tabloid pressby felix salmon via twitter 7/8/2011 7:11:46 AM
- RT @reutersJoelD: Milliband goes after Cameron. Urges him to "come clean" over conversations with Coulson #NOTW #newsmakerby Anthony De Rosa via twitter 7/8/2011 7:11:48 AM
- Miliband: The full horror of the revelations of the last few days has shocked and disgusted people across this country.
- Miliband: The ethic of journalism is about a search to inform and entertain and get to the truth.
Preferably a revelation - an exclusive.
And yet in the name of that pursuit of an exclusive, we have heard allegations about how people working for the News of the World hacked into the phone of Milly Dowler, an abducted child, even deleting some of her messages.
- Miliband: Hacked the voicemail messages of the grieving parents of Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells, the two girls murdered in Soham. Hacked the voicemail messages of victims of the 7/7 bombings.
- Miliband: And we know these weren’t simply isolated examples committed by a rogue reporter. We know enough to have confidence that this was a systematic pattern of activity.
- Miliband: Crucially, in so many cases there was absolutely no conceivable public interest.
- I like where Miliband is going with this: This is bigger than merely being a police issue.by felix salmon via twitter 7/8/2011 7:15:04 AM
- Miliband: In looking at these events, some have insisted the answer is merely to leave it to the police. It is, of course, right that a proper police inquiry gets to the bottom of what happened, and prosecutes those involved.
But this is not enough.
- Miliband blames both political parties for failure to address the issue. This requires more than police action, it's a cultural problem.by Anthony De Rosa via twitter 7/8/2011 7:15:33 AM
- Miliband: It is right that we restore that reputation of decent, hard-working journalists up and down this country who have professional integrity and the highest standards.
- Miliband: I think it means we need a judge-led inquiry to shine a light on the culture and practices which need to change.
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