In its final dose of juicy tabloid goodness, the paper turns the focus inward.
Shying far away from the allegations against it, the News of the World published its 8,674th issue with a profound ‘Thank You’ to its readers splashed across the cover. The paper launched on October 1, 1843 and became infamous for salacious reporting, often finding its own name in other papers’ headlines. But today, the paper took an introspective look back, thanking the readers for the memories.
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Essentially writing its own obituary, the News of the World’s final edition contains a healthy dose of self-righteousness. In fact, the first eight pages are topped by bold headlines that attempt to explain the paper’s positive legacy over its 168-year history.
- “A force for good.”
- “We’ve made history.”
- “…nailed 250 evil crooks.”
And a full-page editorial only serves to highlight their achievements to a greater degree. But a dose of humility appears for a few short paragraphs. While no fingers are pointed, an apology appears: “Quite simply, we lost our way. Phones were hacked, and for that this newspaper is truly sorry.”
Deeper into the paper though, the News of the World reporters gave one last foray into the reporting of scoop and scandal for which they became both loved and hated. The paper doubled its usual print run to 5 million copies, which newsstands across Britain reported as selling out quickly.
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Upon release of the final issue, News Corp. chief executive Rupert Murdoch descended on the offices of News of the World. He was seen reading a copy of the paper he decided to shutter on Thursday, hoping to contain the fallout from the phone hacking scandal.
With News of the World gone, it’s only a matter of time before another paper takes its place in journalism fame and infamy.
The entire paper is available to read online.
Nick Carbone is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @nickcarbone. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.