14 July 2011


The closure of a newspaper is always a sad thing. People lose their jobs and there’s less to buy on the newsstands. But some closures matter more than others.

The end of the News of the World has certainly been spectacular, and it undoubtedly matters in the here-and-now of politics. The fall-out from its phone-hacking is immense: we could be looking at statutory regulation of the press within a year.

But the NoW going doesn’t in itself matter very much. Phone-hacking apart – if we accept that the NoW was the only hacker, which seems unlikely – it wasn’t doing anything journalistically that its competitors weren’t doing or trying to do on more limited resources. The Sunday Mirror, the People and the Mail on Sunday will continue to supply us with coke-and-hookers celeb disgrace stories after the NoW has gone. The NoW wasn't doing anything distinctive.

Even if News International doesn’t launch a Sunday version of the Sun, the closure of the News of the World is small potatoes.

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