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Anorak | The Last News Of The World Editorial

The Last News Of The World Editorial

by | 9th, July 2011

THE last News of The World editorial:

Ready?

“IT is Sunday afternoon, preferably before the war. The wife is already asleep in the armchair, and the children have been sent out for a nice long walk. You put your feet up on the sofa, settle your spectacles on your nose and open the News of the World.”

These are the words of the great writer George Orwell. They were written in 1946 but they have been the sentiments of most of the nation for well over a century and a half as this astonishing paper became part of the fabric of Britain, as central to Sunday as a roast dinner.

An advertisement for our first ever edition on Sunday, October 1, 1843, announced the News of the World as “the novelty of nations and the wonder of the world… as worthy of the mansion as the cottage.”

That has informed our journalism through six monarchs and 168 years. We lived through history, we recorded history and we made history – from the romance of our old hot-metal presses right through to the revolution of the digital age.

In our first Christmas Eve edition, for example, on December 24, 1843, we reviewed and told the story of a new novel by a writer published just a week earlier: A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens.

Fortunately we gave it a good review and, like us, it became part of a national heritage. In May 1900, we broke the news of the relief of Mafeking on the same evening details first arrived in London, the only newspaper to do so.

We also recorded the death of Queen Victoria, the sinking of the Titanic, two world wars, the 1966 World Cup victory, the first man on the moon, the death of Diana… the list goes on.

But we also recorded and most often revealed the great scandals and celebrity stories of the day. Many of them are recalled in this final edition of the News of the World.

In sport, too, we have led the way with the best, most informed coverage in the country – a tradition we have upheld proudly since 1895, when we published our first soccer report (quickly followed by the first picture album: Famous Footballers 1895-1896, proving that some things never change!)

But we touched people’s lives most directly through our campaigns. In the 19th century we crusaded against child labour.

Our more modern campaigns have famously included the fight for Sarah’s Law, which has introduced 15 new pieces of groundbreaking legislation – including the crucial right of parents to information about paedophiles living in their area.

This year we forced the government into a U-turn to enshrine the Military Covenant in law.

At Christmas, we delivered toys to the children of every serviceman and woman in Afghanistan.

We forced computer giants to police their sites to protect children.

We railed against cyber- bullying and, of course, we have run our annual Children’s Champions Awards, celebrating those heroes who work beyond the call of duty for youngsters.

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.

No justification for the pain caused to victims, nor for the deep stain it has left on a great history.

Yet when this outrage has been atoned, we hope history will eventually judge us on all our years.

The staff of this paper, to a man and woman, are people of skill, dedication, honour and integrity bearing the pain for the past misdeeds of a few others.

And as a small step on the long road to making some amends, all profits from the sale of this final edition will be split equally between three charities: Barnardo’s, the Forces Children’s Trust, and military projects at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity.

Meanwhile, we welcome and support the Prime Minister’s two public inquiries, one into the police handling of the case and another into the ethics and standards of the Press.

But we do not agree that the Press Complaints Commission should be disbanded. Self-regulation does work. But the current make-up of the PCC doesn’t work. It needs more powers and more resources. We do not need government legislation.

That would be a disaster for our democracy and for a free Press.

But most of all, on this historic day, after 8,674 editions we’ll miss YOU, our 7.5 million readers.

You’ve been our life. We’ve made you laugh, made you cry, made your jaw drop in amazement, informed you, enthralled you and enraged you.

You have been our family, and for years we have been yours, visiting every weekend.

Thank you for your support. We’ll miss you more than words can express.

Farewell.

Anyone spot the hidden message..?

 



Posted: 9th, July 2011 | In: Reviews Comments (6) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink