The above is the cover of the very last edition of Rupert Murdoch’s dastardly red-top News of the World. News Corp is shutting down the paper as of today after the extent of NOTW’s voicemail hacking scheme was revealed. Their goodbye story is apologetic and careful: “We praised high standards, we demanded high standards but, as we are now only too painfully aware, for a period of a few years up to 2006 some who worked for us, or in our name, fell shamefully short of those standards. Quite simply, we lost our way. Phones were hacked, and for that this newspaper is truly sorry. There is no justification for this appalling wrong-doing.”
For contrast’s sake, take a look at the editorial published by the paper on July 12, 2009, almost exactly two years ago: “No inquiries, no charges, no evidence.”
So let us be clear. Neither the police, nor our own internal investigations, has found any evidence to support allegations that News of the World journalists have accessed voicemails of any individuals.
Nor instructed private investigators or other third parties to access voicemails of any individual.
Nor found that there was any systemic corporate illegality by any executive to suppress evidence to the contrary.
If the police, or ourselves, had uncovered such evidence, charges would have been brought.