|Front page of the final issue of the News of the World|
The News of the World was a national red top newspaper published in the United Kingdom from 1843 to 2011. It was at one time the biggest selling English language newspaper in the world, and at closure still had one of the highest English language circulations. Originally established as a broadsheet by John Browne Bell, the Bells sold to Lascelles Carr in 1891; in 1969 it was bought from the Carrs by Rupert Murdoch's media firm News Ltd. Reorganised into News International, itself a subsidiary of News Corporation, it was transformed into a tabloid in 1984. News of the World was the Sunday sister paper of The Sun. The newspaper concentrated on celebrity-based scoops and populist news. Its fondness for sex scandals gained it the nicknames News of the Screws and Screws of the World. It had a reputation for exposing national or local celebrities as drug users, sex freaks or criminals, setting up insiders and journalists in disguise to provide either video or photographic evidence, and phone hacking in ongoing police investigations. Sales averaged 2,812,005 copies per week in October 2010.
From 2006, allegations of phone hacking began to engulf the newspaper. These culminated in the revelation on 4 July 2011 that, nearly a decade earlier, a private investigator hired by the newspaper had intercepted and deleted the voicemail of missing British teenager Milly Dowler, who was later found murdered. Amid a public backlash and the withdrawal of advertising, News International announced the closure of the newspaper on 7 July 2011. The scandal deepened when the paper was alleged to have hacked into the phones of families of British service personnel killed in action.
In December 2011 a Scotland Yard spokesperson admitted at the Leveson Inquiry that it had not been a private investigator who had deleted Milly Dowler's voicemail, but by then it was too late to save the jobs of 200 redundant News of the World journalists.
Senior figures on the newspaper have been held for questioning by police investigating the phone hacking and corruption allegations. Arrested on 8 July 2011 were former editor Andy Coulson and former News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman, the latter jailed for phone hacking in 2007. The former executive editor Neil Wallis was arrested on 15 July 2011 and former editor Rebekah Brooks, the tenth person held in custody, on 17 July 2011.
|Britain's best-selling Sunday tabloid, the News of the World, printed its last edition on July 10, 2011, amid a massive phone-hacking scandal that brought down the muckraking newspaper after 168 years. - Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images|
News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch holds a copy of The Sun and The Times as he is driven away from his flat in central London July 11, 2011.- LUKE MACGREGOR/REUTERS