10 lessons from the NoW closure
1 To paraphrase the Sun: “It’s the advertisers whot won it.” Senior News International executives talked about the loss of trust by the readers as the cause of the closure of the NoW. It wasn’t any such thing. It was because the advertisers bailed out. It was a ruthless closure inflicted on a team which had no hand in the hacking.
2 Social media played a great role in the closure as those angered by the revelations mobilised to pressure the big advertisers to pull out. And they did.
3 Some charities were really stupid not to take the offer of free advertising. Whatever the media their message could get across to the 5 million people who bought and the many millions who read the last edition.
4 Don’t cross the middle classes.
Milly Dowler came from a suburban middle-class family. She could have been the girl next door or even their own daughter to many in the country.
5 The press cannot regulate itself. The PCC has become toothless – apart from rapping the Telegraph for entrapping MPs with fake constituents which was a stupid decision.
6 The press, the police and politicians are each going to fight their corner and it is far from over yet.
7 Brands can go toxic and drastic action is needed. But not the drastic action of closing down the NoW. See the continued existence of Northern Rock for proof of this.
8 Investigative journalism works: look at the role of the Guardian. It kept digging.
9 There is no free lunch. News International may pay the bill but those who sup at its table will pay in some other much more damaging way. The press which is not owned by a single family can emerge stronger.
10 We know who’s down – but here’s who’s up as a result:
- Vince Cable was right to go after Murdoch;
- Ed Milliband is having a fine righteous rant;
- The Times has covered the story well;
- Social media campaigners for their success with the NoW advertisers;
- All those sleazebags which the NoW will not now be exposing and that other tabloids may be too cowed to go after;
- MPs Chris Bryant and Tom Watson who kept banging away at it; and
- The departing NoW team which created a fine final 8,674th commemorative edition.