What Caused The End of ‘The World’?
The end of the world had been due on Saturday 21 May. Instead we fell into the abyss on Thursday 07 July.
As I’m unashamedly superstitious about Thursday, I was wholly unsurprised that the Murdochs should choose it to announce the closure of The News of the World, the end of 168 years of British newspaper history – and that of 200 jobs.
But the entire scenario was surely an accident in-waiting. If it had not been the NoW, the short fall from disgrace into the void could have been the lot of any of the better known newspapers published in the English speaking world as they are, in my view, all part of a very unsavory piece.
What runs the engine of a good newspaper? The ingredients are generally considered to be conscientious, even courageous reporting; fine writing and elegant, exciting design with the whole supported by five-star production and a constant flow of reputable advertising.
But that Utopia – if it ever existed anywhere but in my imagination – has long since been replaced by a publishing world dominated by a miasmic sleaze in which news organizations of all types, sizes and power are fueled by contempt and oiled with personal spite.
The newspaper business is creative and highly pressurized, so it’s also no shock that its internal politics are vile while artistic and professional betrayal is rife.
There are too few people who become journalists simply because they love the craft of telling a good story well and too many who are as shallow – and despicable - as those whom they often portray.
If theater holds up a mirror to nature, how much more true is this of newspapers, which at their best attempt to portray it accurately while entertaining their readers?Continued on the next page