Friday, 1 July 2011
CASE 321 - News international
News International Ltd is the United Kingdom newspaper publishing division of News Corporation. Until June 2002, it was called News International plc.
The company's major titles are published by three subsidiary companies, Times Newspapers Ltd, News Group Newspapers and NI Free Newspapers Limited. These newspapers were until 2010 written at a large site in Wapping in east London, near Tower Hill, which earned the nickname "Fortress Wapping" after a fierce dispute with the union to which the workforce had previously belonged. The printing of the papers is now undertaken at Broxbourne, Knowsley and Lanarkshire (the largest and fastest print press in the world).
Between 1987 and 1995, News International owned, through its subsidiary News (UK) Ltd, Today, the first UK national newspaper to be printed in colour. All of News International's newspapers (with the exception of The London Paper, launched in 2006) were founded by other owners, in some cases hundreds of years ago.
In October 2005 News International sold TSL Education, publishers of Times Educational Supplement and other education titles, for £235m ($415m). The Times Literary Supplement, previously part of TSL Education, has been retained by News International as part of this deal. Darwin Ltd, who had taken over the company, continued to produce the same product.
Tower Hamlets has granted permission for the re-modelling of the main building at the News International Wapping compound. The HQ will give a united home to News International, Harper Collins, Dow Jones, Fox and related businesses for the first time and will help to regenerate the Wapping site.
Its main competitor is Associated Newspapers, which is in turn owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust.
Phone hacking allegations - News of the World phone hacking scandal
In July 2009 The Guardian, a newspaper owned by Guardian Media Group reported that News Group Newspapers paid in excess of £1m to settle legal cases that threatened to reveal News Group journalists' use on repeated occasions of illegal methods in the pursuit of stories. It has been alleged that News Group staff, including Clive Goodman, illegally accessed voicemail for the mobile phones of thousands of public figures, including politicians and celebrities. Goodman was jailed in 2007 for tapping the mobile phones of three members of the royal staff; this is an offence under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act. It was stated by News International at the time that Goodman had acted without their knowledge, and that no other journalists made use of such methods.
The evidence uncovered by The Guardian apparently shows that many more figures were in fact the subject of phone-taps, including Nigella Lawson, Lenny Henry, Gwyneth Paltrow, John Prescott, Boris Johnson and Tessa Jowell. In 2008, the News of the World paid in excess of £400,000 in damages to Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, who was suing the newspaper for its involvement in the illegal interception of messages to his mobile phone. According to The Guardian, this payment, made in exchange for Taylor's silence 'prevented the public from knowing anything about the hundreds of pages of evidence which had been disclosed in Taylor's case.'
In contrast to News International's earlier denials of knowledge, The Guardian cites suppressed evidence revealing that News of the World's editorial staff were involved with private investigators who engaged in illegal phone-hacking, and that both reporters and executives were commissioning purchases of confidential information; this is illegal unless it is shown to be in the public interest. Apparently, these activities were well-known within the News of the World, being "openly paid for by the accounts department with invoices which itemised illegal acts". The paperwork is alleged to show that the above occurred during the tenure of Andy Coulson, who was chief press advisor to David Cameron, leader of the UK's Conservative Party, until his resignation on January 21, 2011.
On 4 July, the Guardian reported that a private investigator at News of the World had hacked into the phone of the murdered teenager Amanda Dowler causing both her parents and police investigating her murder to wrongly believe she was still alive. This occurred during the period that Rebekah Brooks (née Wade) was editor.
On 7 July, British newspaper The Daily Telegraph alleged that the families of dead British service personnel were targeted by private investigators working for the News of the World. This lead to the Royal British Legion severing ties with the paper until such allegations are proved false. On 7 July, James Murdoch announced the final edition of the British newspaper, News of the World, would be published on Sunday 10 July 2011, due to the allegations.