Snooping scandal goes beyond Murdoch empire
Published 08/07/2011 | 05:00
IT exploded like a thunderclap in every newsroom in the land. Rupert Murdoch's response to the vilification of his newspapers was to sacrifice the very first title he had bought in Britain. Phone-hacking had become a cipher for the depravity of journalism. It no longer targeted only celebrities -- about whom few evinced great concern -- but missing children, victims of atrocities and grieving families.
Snooping on individuals at their most vulnerable in pursuit of a "story" had been traced back to Murdoch and his diabolical ways. The closure of the 'News of the World' will only reinforce that impression. There was immediate dancing on its grave.
Of course, the pain and alarm caused to those who now have reason to believe that their very private conversations were overheard cannot be trivialised. The very idea that anyone thought that hacking their calls was an acceptable way to earn their daily bread beggars the belief of most people. There are sections of the profession which cross the line of common decency. At times, as here, they also cross the line into illegality.