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News of the World
This inaccurate headline on the private life of Max Mosley was the subject of successful litigation in the case Max Mosley v News Group Newspapers Limited
Type Weekly newspaper
Format Tabloid
Owner News Group Newspapers
(News International)
Editor Colin Myler
Founded 1843
Political alignment Right-wing
Headquarters Wapping, London
Circulation 2,993,709 (Feb 2010)
Official website

The News of the World is a British tabloid newspaper published every Sunday. It is published by News Group Newspapers of News International, itself a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, and can be considered the Sunday sister paper of The Sun. The newspaper concentrates 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". With sales averaging 2,993,709 copies per week in February 2010, [1] the News of the World is the largest selling English-language newspaper in the world [2]

The editor Andy Coulson resigned on 26 January 2007 over the royal phone tapping scandal.[3] He was succeeded by Colin Myler, a former editor of the Sunday Mirror who had latterly worked at the New York Post. Previous editors of the paper include Piers Morgan and Rebekah Wade who replaced Phil Hall in 2000.



The newspaper was first published on 1 October 1843, in London by John Browne Bell. Priced at just three pence, even before the repeal of the Stamp Act (1855) or paper duty (1861), it was the cheapest newspaper of its time and was aimed directly at the newly literate working classes. It quickly established itself as a purveyor of titillation, shock and criminal news. Much of the source material came from coverage of vice prosecutions, including transcripts of police descriptions of alleged brothels, streetwalkers, and even so-called "immoral" women.

Before long the News of the World established itself as the most widely read Sunday paper, with initial sales of around 12,000 copies a week. The paper was not without its detractors, though. As one writer later related:

Frederick Greenwood, editor of the Pall Mall Gazette, met in his club one day Lord Riddell, who died a few years ago, and in the course of conversation Riddell said to him, `You know, I own a paper.' `Oh, do you?' said Greenwood, 'what is it?' `It's called the News of the World—I'll send you a copy,' replied Riddell, and in due course did so. Next time they met Riddell said, 'Well Greenwood, what do you think of my paper?' 'I looked at it,' replied Greenwood, 'and then I put it in the waste-paper basket. And then I thought, "If I leave it there the cook may read it" —so I burned it!'[4]

This success encouraged other similar newspapers, of which the Sunday People, the Daily Mail, the Daily Express and the Daily Mirror are still being published.

Its motto was "All human life is there".

By 1950 the News of the World had become the biggest-selling newspaper in the world with a weekly sale of 8,441,000 and individual editions sold over 9 million copies.

In 1928 the paper began printing in Manchester on the presses of the News Chronicle in Derby Street, moving in 1960 into Thomson House, Withy Grove (formerly known as Kemsley House)when the News Chronicle closed.The move to Thomson House led to the immediate closure of the Empire News, a paper printed there and mainly circulating in the North of England and Wales with a circulation of about 2.5 million. Officially the Empire News and News of the World merged but Thomson House was already printing the Sunday Pictorial (to become Sunday Mirror) and Sunday Times and did not have any further capacity with the News of the World arriving.In 1985 the News of the World moved out of Thomson House when it was bought by the tycoon Robert Maxwell(and renamed Maxwell House) and after a short spell on the Daily Express presses in Great Ancoats Street moved to a new plant at Knowsley on Merseyside.

Murdoch purchase

The newspaper passed into the hands of Rupert Murdoch's News Ltd. in 1969, snatching the paper from Robert Maxwell's Pergamon Press after an acrimonious year-long struggle. Maxwell's foreign origin, combined with his political opinions, provoked a hostile response to his bid from the Carrs and from the editor of the News of the World, Stafford Somerfield, who declared that the paper was—and should remain—as British as roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. News Ltd. arranged to swap shares in some of its minor ventures with the Carrs and by December it controlled 40 percent of the NOTW stock. Maxwell had been supported by the Jackson family (25% shareholders), but Murdoch had gained the support of the Carr family (30%) and then-chairman William Carr. In January 1969, Maxwell's bid was rejected at a shareholders' meeting where half of those present were company staff, temporarily given voting shares. It was Murdoch's first "Fleet Street" acquisition. Maxwell accused Murdoch of employing "the laws of the jungle" to acquire the paper and said he had "made a fair and bona fide offer... which has been frustrated and defeated after three months of [cynical] manoeuvring." Murdoch denied this, arguing the shareholders of the News of the World Group had "judged [his] record in Australia."

Illness removed Sir William Carr from the chairmanship in June 1969, and Murdoch succeeded him.

The newspaper has often had to defend itself from libel charges and complaints to the Press Complaints Commission as a result of certain news-gathering techniques, such as entrapment, and contentious campaigns. Some of the best-known cases have been the "Bob and Sue" case with reporter Neville Thurlbeck, and various cases involving journalist Mazher Mahmood.[5][6]

The paper is printed in London, Liverpool,Dinnington near Sheffield, Portsmouth and Glasgow with separate Irish editions produced in Belfast and near Dublin. It is also printed at a number of sites abroad including Madrid, Brussels, Cyprus and Orlando in Florida (USA).

Anti-paedophile campaign

The paper began a controversial campaign to name and shame alleged paedophiles in 2000 following the abduction and murder of Sarah Payne. The paper's decision led to angry mobs terrorising those they suspected of being child sex offenders,[7] which included several cases of mistaken identity, including one instance where a paediatrician had her house vandalised[8] and another where a man was confronted because he had a neck brace similar to one a paedophile was wearing when pictured.[9][10] The campaign was labelled "grossly irresponsible" journalism by the then Chief Constable of Gloucestershire, Tony Butler.[11] The paper also campaigns for the introduction of 'Sarah's Law' to allow public access to the Sex Offenders Register.

Libel actions brought against the News of the World

  • In 2005, England footballer David Beckham and his wife Victoria brought a legal action against the paper seeking libel damages over an article that carried the headline: "Posh and Becks on the Rocks." The legal action was withdrawn in 2006 and "resolved on a confidential basis," according to the couple's spokeswoman Jo Milloy.
  • In April 2006, England footballer Wayne Rooney received £100,000 in damages from the publishers of The News of the World and its sister paper The Sun over articles falsely reporting he had slapped his then-fiancée and now wife, Coleen. Both had always denied the reports.
  • In June 2006, England footballer Ashley Cole received damages from the publishers of The News of the World over articles falsely alleging the footballer had used a mobile phone as a gay sex toy. Together with its sister paper The Sun, The News of the World paid Cole £100,000 to settle the case
  • In July 2006, a libel action brought by the Scottish politician Tommy Sheridan came to court in Edinburgh. Sheridan denied allegations, made by the newspaper in November 2004 and January 2005, that he had an affair, engaged in group sex and attended a swinger's club in Manchester. Sheridan won the case and was awarded £200,000 in damages. The newspaper intends to appeal against the jury's decision,[12] and has refused to pay out the money; Sheridan and several associates have been charged with perjury, but the case has not yet reached the courts.
  • In January 2010 Norwich City Football Club Started legal proceedings against the News of the World after they published an article, "Canaries on Brink" on 24th January 2010 claiming that the club had begun the processes of going into administration [13]
  • In February 2010, the Hollywood couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie made plans to sue the News of the World after it published allegations about their relationship. [14]

2006 reward for information

On 13 December 2006 the newspaper announced that it was offering up a record breaking reward of £250,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the murders in Suffolk. The reward went unclaimed since the culprit, Steve Wright, was arrested on suspicion of murder on the 19th of the same month using unrelated information.

Phone hacking scandal

The phone hacking scandal is a series of events relating to the News of the World's use of private investigators to illegally gain access to the mobile phone messages of a variety of public individuals of interest to the newspaper. In 2007 the paper's royal correspondent, Clive Goodman, was jailed for four months; the paper's then editor, Andy Coulson, had resigned two weeks earlier. In 2009/2010, further revelations emerged on the extent of the phone hacking, and how widely it was known about within the News of the World and its News International parent.

Famous scandals reported by the News of the World


1891: Emsley Carr
1941: D. Davies
1946: S. Skelton
1947: Arthur Waters
1953: Reg Cudlipp
1960: Stafford Somerfield
1970: Cyril Lear
1975: Bernard Shrimsley
1980: Barry Askew
1981: Derek Jameson
1984: Nicholas Lloyd
1985: David Montgomery
1987: Wendy Henry
1988: Patsy Chapman
1993: Stuart Higgins
1994: Piers Morgan
1995: Phil Hall
2000: Rebekah Wade
2003: Andy Coulson
2007: Colin Myler

Current editors

  • Colin Myler (editor)
  • Victoria Newton (deputy editor)
  • Bill Akass (Managing Editor)
  • Harry Scott (Senior Associate Editor)
  • Ian Edmondson (Assistant Editor, News)
  • Jules Stenson (Assistant Editor, Features)
  • Matt Nixson (Features Editor)
  • Paul Ashton (Pictures Editor)
  • Bob Bird - Scottish News of the World editor

Current journalists and writers

  • Neville Thurlbeck (mainly responsible for the Beckham/ Loos story) [15]
  • Carole Malone (columnist)
  • Jane Atkinson (Chief feature writer)
  • Robert Jobson (Royal reporter)
  • Dan Wootton (Showbiz editor)
  • kiki bruger

See also


  1. ^ Summary Report - News of the World
  2. ^ The Top 100 Newspapers Worldwide. Mondo Newspapers.'.' Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  3. ^ "UK | Pair jailed over royal phone taps". BBC News. 2007-01-26. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  4. ^ J. W. Robertson Scott, The Story of the Pall Mall Gazette (1950), 417
  5. ^ Department of the Official Report (Hansard), House of Commons, Westminster (1999-06-09). "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 9 Jun 1999 (pt 54)". Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  6. ^ Stop Press - News of the World reporter exposes himself to public ridicule!
  7. ^ "Police condemn vigilante violence". BBC News. 4 August 2000. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  8. ^ "Paediatrician attacks 'ignorant' vandals". BBC News. 30 August 2000. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  9. ^ "Mob mistakes man for sex abuser". BBC News. 24 July 2000. Retrieved 2009-09-01. 
  10. ^ "Vigilante attack on innocent man". BBC News. 25 July 2000. Retrieved 2009-09-01. 
  11. ^ "Rebekah Wade: Profile". BBC News. 13 January 2003. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  12. ^ "Scotland | Sheridan victory in court battle". BBC News. 2006-08-04. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  13. ^ "Norwich City sue News of the World over 'debt' story". BBC News. 2010-02-01. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  14. ^ "Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt sue newspaper". BBC News. 2010-02-08. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  15. ^ [1]

External links

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