When people hear about tabloid journalism they think of stories filled with sensationalism and gossips. That's normal for celebrities or others used to the glitterati lifestyle, but not for an unknown teenager, Milly Dowler, 13, whose voicemail was allegedly hacked by journalists at Rupert Murdoch's News of the World.
Dowler's incident has led to private British citizens and politicians questioning the newspaper's journalism practices and eventually the paper's closure on Sunday. The incident, which keeps unfolding, could also lead to tighter regulations for the press, as British Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday called for such measures.
Cameron further called for a new investigation into the News of the World scandal, according to reports.
Celebrities like English Actor Hugh Grant, whose had his phone hacked, has chimed in on the matter.
On Friday, Grant told CBS The Early Show co-anchor Chris Wragge that he thinks this is the watershed moment when, finally, the public start to see and feel, above all, just how low and how disgusting this particular newspaper's methods were.
Grant said he in turn bugged the bugger, a former News of the World journalist, at a pub, and from their talk, learned that pretty much all British tabloids were very enthusiastic phone hackers.
He wrote about the encounter in the New Statesman back in April.
Grant said from the conversation, he learned of the sinister relationship between particularly the Murdoch tabloids, News International ones, and The Metropolitan Police who were meant to be investigating phone hacking, and basically who dragged their feet for a long time.
Grant said the man admitted that money changed hands between the two organizations and he talked about the very unsettling cozy relationship, not only between this prime minister, and the Murdoch news organization, but basically all our prime ministers going back to Margaret Thatcher, who've all realized they can't get elected unless the man who controls 37 percent of our very powerful print media in this country is on side. And they will go through the most humiliating hoops to keep Rupert as their puppeteer.
It is no question that Murdoch is a powerful man.
In short time, he's closing Britain's best-selling Sunday newspaper that has a 168-year history; sells 2.6 million copies each week; and staffs about 200.
The question is can a murdered 13 year old build a case to topple Murdoch's power and forever change the way British tabloids seek the news and report it? What are your thoughts?
Read Hugh Grant's article in the New Statesman here.