Even newspaper-owning billionaires are not above jouralism ethics.
James Murdoch, media mogul Ruport Muroch's son, said in London today that his father's tabloid News of the World will run its final issue on Sunday, after being irreconcilably tarnished over a cell phone hacking scandal.
The paper was suffering financially after allegations surfaced that News of the World has been illegally hacking the cell phones of a number of people, most significantly the mobile of Milly Dowley, an abducted teenage girl who captivated the British public in 2002.
A number of prominent advertisers cancelled their contracts with News International, including Ford Motors, Dixons, Virgin Holidays and Mitsubishi.
Furthermore, people in Britain, spurred by actor Hugh Grant who said his phone had been hacked in the past, boycotted News of the World and News International.
The younger Murdoch issued a statement about the planned closure, saying:
The News of the World and News International wrongly maintained that these issues were confined to one reporter. We now have voluntarily given evidence to the police that I believe will prove that this was untrue and those who acted wrongly will have to face the consequences.
This was not the only fault.
The paper made statements to Parliament without being in the full possession of the facts. This was wrong. The Company paid out-of-court settlements approved by me. I now know that I did not have a complete picture when I did so. This was wrong and is a matter of serious regret.
This Sunday will be the last issue of the News of the World. Colin Myler will edit the final edition of the paper.
In addition, I have decided that all of the News of the World's revenue this weekend will go to good causes.
British MP Tom Watson said no one was going to buy this paper any more. No one was going to advertise in it. They destroyed this paper. Rupert Murdoch did not close the News of the World. It is the revulsion of families up and down the land as to what they got up to. It was going to lose all its readers and it had no advertisers left. They had no choice, according to The Telegraph.
The publication is said to have tapped the phones of the family members of the victims of the July, 2005 subway bombings in London.
Additionally, it was discovered that News of the World was paying policemen for tips and information on scandalous crimes.
Earlier this week, News International executives printed public statements in News of the World about the allegations.
Current editor Colin Myler said I know you will be as appalled as I am by claims that a private investigator working for the News of the World intercepted the voicemails of Milly Dowler, victims of the 7/7 atrocity and others.
We are urgently trying to establish the truth of these allegations which, if proved, would amount to the most unimaginable breach of journalistic ethic.