News of the World #liveblog 3

16:55 – It was not ‘Twitter Wot Won It’ despite social media News of the World protests

Former defence secretary Bob Ainsworth might have tweeted: “News of the World to close. Wow! people power. Twitter power!”, but others are less sure.


Speed Communications MD Steve Earl played down the input of ‘people power’. He said: ‘If people are saying Twitter brought the News of the Screws to its knees then there are deluded as tabloid hacks who get a God complex and push it way too far.”

Text100 MD Dan Baxter agreed: “It’s unlikely that anybody in the News International boardroom ever said ‘Hey guys, a lot of people are saying bad things about us on Twitter, we should probably close the paper down..,” read the full story on PR Week.

That’s the PR view but there is no denying the role that Twitter played as consumers and activists got busy online. And it was a lot of people, not just a few. People were very angry and happy to let brands know about it and because of that brands were responding directly to consumers online. I’m sure News International were very aware online public sentiment and if they weren’t they should have been as the activity was widespread and it was impacting upon NotW advertisers.

Marketers measure online sentiment and I’m sure they saw which way this was turning very quickly. As it did happen very fast. That’s the power of social media – this was a truly viral story and campaign. It did not take a rocket scientist to work out that getting out of the NotW would be a very PR savvy thing to do. And that is what they did and they announced it in turn online, via Twitter, blogs and websites. The demise of the NotW has been very much an online fuelled one.

16:10 – Daily Star confirms Met Police investigation

The Daily Star is helping police with alleged investigations of police corruption involving the News of the World and its former editor Clive Goodman.

According to a statement by the Daily Star: “There was no suggestion whatsoever that Mr Goodman had acted improperly during his occasional shifts at the Daily Star Sunday, and we can confirm that no payments of any kind were ever made by the newspaper to Clive Goodman contacts.

“After requesting the Daily Star Sunday’s help, Police were invited to visit the newspaper’s offices where they were provided with a copy of all Mr Goodman’s computer activity,” read the full story here.



15:00 – The first signs of contagion begin to show as Renault extends its ad boycott to all News International titles

14:30 – The Guardian is reporting that the Police are probing the suspected deletion of “millions” of phone hacking emails by NI executive

Police are investigating evidence that a News International executive may have deleted millions of emails from an internal archive, in an apparent attempt to obstruct Scotland Yard’s inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal.

“The archive is believed to have reached back to January 2005 revealing daily contact between News of the World editors, reporters and outsiders, including private investigators. The messages are potentially highly valuable both for the police and for the numerous public figures who are suing News International,” the Guardian reports.

13:30 – Cameron’s reputation ‘permanently damaged’, says PR chief

Luther Pendragon partner Mike Granatt said of Cameron’s speech: “Cameron is desperately trying to get back on the front foot. But his retrospective hand-wringing and his increasingly tired tactic of saying “we all got it wrong, but I’m the man to deal with it” is losing traction with a disgusted public.

“His political anguish may be mitigated a little if Miliband and others swing behind the new inquiries, but he has been permanently damaged by this affair through both his associations and inaction. And the killer is his inability to say that Rebekah Brooks should go or even that she should not lead News International’s internal inquiry. A Prime Minister cannot be selective in his morality. Cameron has made that fatal mistake,” read the full story in PR Week.

13:10 – Vodafone confirms it has donated its £136,000 adspend from the NotW Fabulous magazine to charity. It has issued this statement:

“News International have announced they will cease publication of the News of the World from this Sunday. Their magazine, Fabulous, is carrying a Vodafone advertisement and insert that was booked some time ago and printed on 29 June. We know we will not be charged for this and so we have decided to donate the equivalent cost of this advertising (£136,000) to the East Africa Crisis Appeal launched by the Disasters Emergency Committee on 7 July.”

13:00 – Former News of the World royal correspondent Clive Goodman has been re-arrested, according to Reuters.

“The former News of the World royal editor, jailed in 2007, was arrested over alleged payments to police, a police source said on Friday.

“Clive Goodman was jailed for four months in January 2007 after royal staff members complained about voicemail messages having been intercepted relating to Prince William’s knee injury. The latest arrest was in connection with a police operation looking at alleged payments to police by journalists at the News of the World, part of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp,” Reuters reports.

12:20 – Vodafone is to donate the £136,000 cost of its adspend in the NotW’s Fabulous magazine this weekend to the East Africa Crisis Appeal, according to reports.

The magazine is as previously reported still appearing, but advertisers are not being charged. Also we reported earlier that Fabulous might survive closure. No confirmation on that.

12:00 – Former News International exec warns Sun on Sunday will struggle to replace the News of the World

Jack Irvine, Media House executive chairman and former News International Scotland’s MD and editor of The Scottish Sun, warned: “I can’t see how a Sunday Sun will hope to get the same circulation as the News of the World.”

PR consultant Max Clifford also sounded a word of caution about the launch of a fresh News International Sunday title read the full PR Week story here.

11:30 Labour MP Tom Watson on the story of a scandal - Well worth a watch. Watson gives this speech on the scandal. He has long campaign on the hacking scandal and is owed a lot of credit for pursuing the story (along with the Guardian) when others were not interested. Frank views. HT Heather Taloy.

11:10 Sky News Crime Correspondent @Martinbrunt reporting live that Andy Coulson has been arrested. Police say: “A 43 year man was arrested this morning at a London police station”. Full statement from the Metropolitan Police:

The MPS [Metropolitan police service] has this morning [8 July 2011] arrested a member of the public in connection with allegations of corruption and phone hacking.

At 10.30am officers from the MPS’ Operation Weeting together with officers from Op Elveden arrested a man on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications, contrary to Section1(1) Criminal Law Act 1977 and on suspicion of corruption allegations contrary to Section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.

The man, aged 43yrs, was arrested by appointment at a South London police station. He is currently in custody.

The Operation Weeting team is conducting the new investigation into phone hacking.

Operation Elveden is the investigation into allegations of inappropriate payments to police. This investigation is being supervised by the IPCC.

It would be inappropriate to discuss any further details regarding these cases at this time.

11:05 BSkyB responds to Cameron’s press conference statement that deal will be delayed

“News Corporation notes today’s comments by the Prime Minister with respect to its proposed offer to acquire the outstanding shares in BSkyB. Our priority is to continue to cooperate with the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport and the existing regulatory process.”

10:59 – what now for the 2.6 million readers who won’t be buying the News of the World anymore?

We’ve taken a look at the figures following the months after the closure of Today, the last major British newspaper to close – also by Murdoch, as it happens – and there’s no real suggestion that the News of the World’s rivals will get a major circulation boost.

PRWeek has has some of the Twitter reaction to closure of the News of the World

News of the World journalists took to Twitter last night, revealing their ‘sadness’ over the decision to close the paper rather than the anger that media reports suggested had developed among its 200 staff.

10:20 Cameron makes no promises on BSkyB confirms delay; PCC to be replaced, stands by Coulson; promises independent inquiry

On Coulson and Brooks

“I decided to give Andy Coulson a second chance, but that didn’t work out”. Says he takes full responsibility, but not much else.

On the case of Brooks, says it isn’t his job to pick and choose who should and should not run media organisations. However says it was reported that she offered her resignation. And in this situation he would have taken it.

Admits he did not even ask Coulson about payments to the police even when he resigned. That seems quite incredibly. A sort of see no evil, hear no evil.

On the BSkyB – Cameron makes no promises – but confirms delay to deal

Says that Jeremy Hunt is taking advice from regulators. This will take some time. No time frame although September was talked about earlier.

Cameron says it is no good pointing fingers at one journalist or one newspaper. He says we have all been in this together: press and politicians of all parties.

He has a dig at Gordon Brown and the last government inquiry. He accuses last government of doing nothing. Although he tempers this by saying same applied to opposition and by implication him.

A deeper truth – politicians need the media

Says it is difficult for politicians call for more regulation of the media it is accused of stifling free press and free speech.

The deeper truth is his: there was a less noble reason why media was tackled in last enquiry. This was because party leaders were so keen to win the support of newspapers they turned a blind eye to the need to sort this issue and get on top of the bad practices to change the way our newspapers are regulated.

Cameron says that hacking was a bit like MPs expenses. The people in power knew things weren’t right but they didn’t do enough quickly until full mess of situation was revealed. Cameron says enquiries give chance for fresh start.

Things have got to change, the relationship between politicians and press needs to change.

PCC failed and to be replaced

Cameron says the Press Complaints Commission has failed. He says in the hacking case it was absent. Says it was ineffective; lacking in rigour; and lacking in public confidence.

He says we need a new system. One that is truly independent. Says the nature and form it takes is up to the inquiry. Says it is vital that it is independent of government. New system must balance right to privacy and public interest.

Cameron says he will speak to Ed Miliband about this as it is vital it has cross party support.

10:00 David Cameron has just spoken at press conference – says he wants a second enquiry established this summer and says he would have taken Rebekah Brooks’ resignation. More soon.

He makes three main points:

1. Says action will be taken to get to the bottom of specific allegations of phone hacking.

It is clear that there have been illegal and unacceptable practices at the News of the World and elsewhere. He makes the elsewhere point several times in his speech. Wants to drive home that he his not only attacking News International, but wants to cast net wider.

He says that only police investigation can get to the bottom of this.

2. Action will be taken to learn the wider lessons of the NotW hacking scandal

Says he and deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg have agreed to establish a full public enquiry headed by a judge. This he says will look at the following:

i. Why did the first police investigation fail so abysmally?ii. What exactly was going on at the NotW
iii. What was going on at other papers?

Says this will only happen after police enquiry has concluded – rejecting Ed Miliband’s call for an immediate public enquiry.

However, he says the ground work can be laid now. He says it can start getting term of reference and looking at people it might speak to.

He says that everything that happened will be investigated and that no stone will be left unturned.

3. He wants to establish a second inquiry this summer. Conducted by a panel of figures. This will be truly independent. Says it should look at culture practice and ethics of British media.

09:40 – Agencies cautious over where News of the Worlds estimated £35m in ad spend will go

Is it party time for News of the World’s rivals, or will a Sunday Sun pick up where News of the World left off?

08:50 – News of the World magazine Fabulous could be safe from closure, say reports. The FT is reporting that Fabulous could be unaffected by the NotW closure indicating it could become the magazine of any planned Sun on Sunday successor.

“Employees said the consensus was that the Sun would launch a Sunday edition. ‘The word on the street is that Fabulous [the colour magazine of the News of the World] is safe,’ one said. On Twitter, the social media website, Rachel Richardson, the editor of Fabulous, wrote: ‘Feeling pretty numb right now but wanted to say long live [Fabulous]. The best mag team in Fleet Street. Fact,’ the FT reports.

08:30 – More of the front pages

The Mirror

Hacked to Death

The Independent

Newspaper 'sacrificed to save one woman'

i

The End of the World

Daily Mail

Paper that died of shame

08:10 Ed Miliband is speaking live now on the future of the British media media.

Here is the link to the Reuters press conference. Miliband calls for a judge led enquiry on practices of British media. Says it should be immediately established.

He says it should look into culture and unlawful practices of the media; relationship with police and media; and nature of future regulation.

He strongly urges government to think again about the BSkyB decision. Says the public demand it.

He calls for the Press Complaints Commission to be abolished and replaced by a new body. Called the PCC “a toothless poodle” and a new body with “proper investigative powers” was needed. He backed self-regulation, but said the press faced a “crisis of trust”.

Summing up he says four essential things need to happen

1. Right kind of public enquiry accompanying  police enquiry. Says it needs to be immediate.

2. Proper decisions in respect of media ownership particularly in reference to BSkyB.

3. Individuals need to take responsibility at News International, stands by his call for Rebekah Brooks to go. Closing Notw not enough.

4. Reform of the PCC and replaced with new body.

Miliband says nothing less will do to restore public trust in the wake of the Notw scandal.

Miliband says old media is fighting ever harder to proect its share of the market in the face of digital change. Says many British newspapers are in the lead in the move to digital age as it faces a crises of economics with the availability of free information on the internet, which creates new pressures on newspapers.

He says it is important for British journalism to survive, but says it must deal with not only a crises of finance but one of trust.  If it deals with that “we can have the frank free and fearless press the public want”.

07:50 – It is being reported that the prime minister David Cameron will this morning hold a press conference at 0930 to address #NOTW phone hacking scandal.

The Guardian last night reported that former News of the World editor, Andy Coulson will be arrested this morning.

Coulson was reportedly told to attend a central London police station for questioning over claims he knew about phone hacking.

Coulson could find himself in a police station as his former boss, Cameron, speaks to the media about the hacking scandal. Scotland Yard has not, however, confirmed the arrest of Coulson.

07:30 – A poetic end – the headlines on the frontpages as the death of the News of the World is reported

Our earlier coverage of the breaking NotW story

From Wednesday – News of the World live blog #2

From Tuesday – News of the World live blog #1

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