Tuesday 23 January 2018

Ian Burrell: Forget the principle. This is all part of the Murdoch masterplan

The News of the World pulled off some carefully executed stings in the 168 years it has been titillating its readers but few have been achieved with such ruthless and clinical efficiency as that performed on the title itself by its once proud owner.

A national institution that began life as a scandal sheet offering "All the Intelligence of the Week" was made defunct with a statement out of the blue that none of the staff on Britain's biggest Sunday tabloid had seen coming. As the news from James Murdoch began to circulate, that his father had decided to expunge the first British national newspaper that he had come to own, bought back in 1969, there was open weeping even from hardened hacks.

But the shock hadn't subsided before observers began to smell a rat. Rumours began to circulate that the newspaper was merely to be replaced by a seven-day operation from its sister paper The Sun. News International has been exploring integration of its titles, recently appointing a managing editor, Richard Caseby, to work across both titles. Subbing roles have also been integrated.

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