The Beginning of the End?
The ongoing debate about the demise of newspapers continues but today marks a very important day that we may remember in history as the beginning of the end of print! Today, News of the World published their final edition of their 168 year old red top and Hannah Smithson went to find out what Bournemouth locals thought about the end of the paper, the phone hacking scandals behind it and the future of Journalism as we know it!
With a slight reluctance to comment, shopkeeper and seller of News of the World at Pier, News and Gifts in Bournemouth, Albert Bence, 19, from Landsdowne eventually revealed to me that most of the News of World papers had been sold that day and they were almost sold out. He included his views that in fact it will just turn into The Sunday Sun and said “It will just be the same journalists on that paper”.
Moving on to interview a couple from the older generations, Mrs Elizabeth Chick, 70, and Mrs June Partington, 75 from Farnborough had popped down to Bournemouth for the day but admitted you’d have to be blind if you weren’t aware of the closing of the News of the World today and the phone hacking scandals behind it. Mrs Chick voiced her opinion and said: “She’s the editor so she’s still responsible”. When asked if she thought Rupert Murdoch himself was aware of the phone hacking that went on in the midst of one of his biggest selling newspapers, will a loyal readership of 7.5m she replied: “He knows every moment, every little thing that happens to him.” Mrs Partington doesn’t believe they should of closed the newspaper because of the phone hacking scandal but thinks: “they should have got rid of the top ones.” Both ladies insist that they would hope this is not the end of newspapers as they claimed they didn’t even have the internet at home and were all for newspapers staying, insisting they have grown up with them.
Is this the beginning of the end of newspapers, I asked Steven Sims, 33 and local restaurant owner in Bournemouth. He responded: “There is nothing quite like sitting down with a cup of tea and a newspaper.”
He admitted that he thought this was someone of his generation speaking and that perhaps younger generations that have grown up with ipads and Kindles wouldn’t echo his same sentiments.
On the phone hacking scandal he recognises: “Even if it was talking about footballers wives or Jordan’s new boyfriend, it is scandalous!”
“It’s breaking the law and you’re not telling me that the people at the head of this newspaper didn’t know that.”
It has been announced today that News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks will accept invitation to appear before MPs examining phone hacking next Tuesday.
Mr Sims continues to explain that Rupert Murdoch must have known about the phone hacking but says: “Ultimately, I suppose, it has to stop at the editor.” When asked if as a reader and citizen if he found out that Rebekah Brook came to work on The Sunday Sun whether he would feel put out he said: “Absolutely”.
On the prospect of Rupert Murdoch taking over BSkyB, Steven, a long time business man reveals that it is just basic business and said: “He would be monopolising a market”, “Where’s the equality and freedom of opinion” and agrees that David Cameron needs to step in and said: “I don’t care who your drinking buddy is, when you’re Prime Minister of a country it’s your duty and responsibility to step in”
Recent reports from the BBC say, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation withdraws bid for control of BSkyB amid pressure over phone-hacking scandal.
On a final note when asked whether this will spark a debate over good and bad journalism and whether the public should trust the press in future, Mr Sims said:
“There’s a lot of hypocrisy, yes your average every day person would say, bad journalist, they adapt the news to meet their story but we will all still rush to buy a newspaper.”
“News as a whole never will end and the act of opening a newspaper and purchasing from your local store or having dropped through your letterbox something that’s printed on paper with black ink, yes those days might disappear and you might open up your emails to read the news or you might load up your kindle and read it off of there, yes I dare say in the next 30 years that’s where we’re going but will news ever end…? I don’t think that’s possible is it.”