In one of the most unexpected events in the history of journalism, media mogul Rupert Murdoch has decided to close down publication of the News of the World tabloid after almost 170 years of existence.
Murdoch was forced to close down the paper after outrage mounted over the paper’s alleged hacking of the mobile phone of Milly Dowler, a schoolgirl who was later murdered, as well as victims of the London bombing of July 2005.
Here are a round-up of reactions to the extraordinary development:
It's got to be a good day for Britain. I think the News of the World as an organization is toxic on almost every level. I think the country after Sunday will be a better place. I think it's an organization which has corrupted our political system, made it impossible for people to have faith in our police.
--Zac Goldsmith, Member Of Parliament, Conservative Party
We knew we were in a bad place but we never expected a bombshell as big as this. Hard-working journalists will carry the can for a previous regime.
-- David Wooding, News of the World political editor
It's very big and unexpected. But I'm not sure it's going to solve the problem while the chief executive and ex-editor of the paper in some of its darkest days is still the chief executive of the company.
--Steve Hewlett, Media Consultant
This is one of the most remarkable public relations moves of modern times. To close a massive profit-making business because it has become a reputational black hole is both bold and a gamble.
It seems that News Corp have finally caught up with the public mood and are trying to get a grip on the narrative of this crisis. Yes, the advertising boycott meant that it would be worth less but no-one really thought that would be permanent. This is obviously a drastic attempt to show real contrition and clear the ethical decks. Of course, that's scant consolation to anyone working there, but we won't be surprised to see a Sunday Sun rise at some point.
-- Charlie Beckett, Founding Director, Polis Think Tank At The London School Of Economics
Can you believe it? It's amazing, isn't it? I don't see how this (BSkyB) deal can go ahead. It's politically totally unacceptable now. I don't see how this deal can go ahead now. This is totally unprecedented. To me, it's is an explicit admission of culpability. It feels to me as though at the very least there must be an extensive period of reflection or delay whilst everybody calms down a bit. Worse case scenario, they have to walk away. Worse still, they have to sell their stake in Sky.”
--Alex Degroote, Media Analyst, Panmure Gordon
It's a big decision but I don't think it solves the problem. Because after all lots of people are losing their jobs today but one of the people who's remaining in her job is the chief executive of News International who was the editor at the time ... What I'm interested in is not closing down newspapers. I'm interested in those who were responsible being brought to justice and those who had responsibility for the running of that newspaper taking their responsibility and I don't think those two things have happened today.
-- Ed Miliband, Labour Party leader
This is an astonishing and unprecedented act. It is appropriate to the moral horror that the owners of the newspaper faced, but it does not yet answer a number of questions. A thorough inquiry is still needed to ensure that we know the extent of these heinous acts. That must include asking the question whether other newspapers have been guilty of similar crimes. Killing the paper does not kill the story.
--Professor Ian Hargreaves, Cardiff School Of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies
Let's be clear about this, this paper has closed but the hacking saga has not. The issue for me today is not whether Rupert Murdoch closes a paper that was going to go bankrupt because there are no advertisers or readers left, it is whether Rebekah Brooks is going to consider her position and resign as chief executive of News International. The anger will only subside when a very senior executive in this company takes responsibility for this heinous attack on British people.
-- Tom Watson, Labour MP
The cynic in me suggests that this is a ploy to take the pressure off the BSkyB merger and that when that is out of the way something will rise from the ashes. I hope I'm wrong but the track record of this company and those within it suggests that cynicism is the right response. When you do something as dramatic as this, the hope is that people will notice. It is a big gesture and most people will see the headline and think that something has happened -- in that sense it will take the pressure off.
-- Adrian Sanders, Member Of Parliament For The Liberal Democrats
They were obviously aware of not only the tremendous damage done to the News of the World but also News International by recent allegations. My belief is that there is a lot more to come - I think that is why the decision was taken to pull the plug.
-- Max Clifford, publicist
It's comes as an incredible shock - the announcement James Murdoch should be making tonight is the dismissal of Rebekah Brooks. It is the people at the top who need to be punished, not ordinary working journalists.
-- Michelle Stanistreet, General Secretary Of The National Union Of Journalists
At one point it was selling nearly eight million copies and nearly every adult member in Britain, person, used to read it and there it is - gone.
-- Paul McMullan, former News of the World features editor
Our view is that this does not mean the News of the World will be closed. It will simply mean that there will be a seven day Sun. The stain on the brand was going to be permanent, and this is a perfectly sensible decision.
-- Claire Enders, Head Of Enders Analysis Media Consultancy
The story isn't by any means over yet. This was a big bang but there will be plenty of pops along the road.
-- Peter Preston, former Guardian editor
Astonishing. I'm completely gobsmacked. Talk about a nuclear option. You've got to feel sorry for the people who work on it. There are people who are going to lose their jobs. It could just be a fairly cynical ploy and there will be a new News International Sunday newspaper. It could well be that three months down the line the scandals calmed down a bit and they launch a new Sunday tabloid. It's a lightning conductor. It will certainly take the heat off some of the immediate allegations about journalistic behavior and phone hacking. I suspect that they are fearing the worst in terms of more revelations coming out, and can now turn around and say: 'What more can we do? We have cut this thing off at the roots. Rebekah Brooks is still there and is still appointed by Rupert Murdoch to run the inquiry. That is still untenable. It's important that we don't get distracted by this announcement from asking some very serious questions.
--Steven Barnett, Professor Of Communications, Westminster University
We see it [closure of News of the World) as something to restore or remedy a tarnished reputation for the News Corp group. But we also critically see it as a reflection of New Corp's desire to progress the BSkyB bid and have full ownership of the company.
--Stephen Adams, Fund Manager
The News of the World are the only journalists that we ever had bad dealings with. I'm glad that they're gone, but it doesn't mean we're going to give up the fight to find out if our families' phones were hacked.
-- Rose Gentle, mother of British soldier killed in Iraq
Shocked and saddened by closure of the News of the World. Scandals of past week indefensible, but has been a great British newspaper.
-- Piers Morgan, former News of the World editor
This is designed to try and protect Rebekah Brooks, and I believe that if she had a shred of decency after what we have heard about Milly Dowler's phone being hacked, which happened on her watch as editor, she should have resigned by now ... This strategy of chucking first journalists, then executives and now a whole newspaper overboard isn't going to protect the person at the helm of the ship.
-- Chris Bryant, Labour MP