7:20 p.m. July 31, 2013

Source: Murdoch To Relaunch "News Of The World" To Compete With Daily Mail

Editor's Note: During his time as a member of the UK's Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, Tom Watson MP questioned Rupert Murdoch, his son James Murdoch and former editor Rebekah Brooks, leading to him being described as "Murdoch's nemesis." He is author of the book "Dial M For Murdoch"

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For some years, News Corporation insiders have shared detailed company information with me. It usually involves the bribery and hacking scandal but recently it's widened to include more broad information.

Now one source tells me that Murdoch intends to resurrect the old News of the World title, as an online only property, to compete with Mail Online (the website of the Daily Mail).

"'It's the place where they want to put the Page 3 girls when they're put out to pasture from the Sun," my source told me. So it sounds classy.

The insider also claims executives are split as to whether the move is sensible at such a fragile time for the newly re-organised company.

Back channel chatter

  1. "The insider also claims executives are split as to whether the move is sensible at such a fragile time for the newly re-organised company." — Nice get-out clause, Tommy. Isn't there a state regulator to stop this kind of baseless speculation?

  2. @jason I'm not sure I understand that comment. It's only baseless if you don't believe Tom really has sources inside NC. He most certainly does.

  3. I think he'd have to go a long way further to prove it and given he's one of the key furies screaming for a "responsible", government-regulated press, I think the onus is on him to prove his story. It's not exactly double-sourced, iron clad stuff. More broadly, just because is is obsessed with Murdoch doesn't make it significant. Even if his claims—and that's all they are, they certainly don't constitute reporting—are true, so what? The News of the World was shut down by a red-faced Murdoch trying to save his own skin, it's not illegal for him to relaunch it or, indeed, something else using the same name. Newsworthy? Sure, but all Watson has done is make an allegation complete with a giant get-out clause in the last paragraph.

  4. These are all interesting points, and I have no problem with you making them, obviously. I suppose what I'm trying to figure out is what our policy should be re: the level of courtesy NSFWCORP contributors should show to each other in Scribbles discussions. You're talking about Tom as if he isn't here which seems jarring, to me.

    Also: given I was the editor on the post, if you have issues with accuracy or sourcing, you have them with me too. Again, that's fine, but this just seems like a departure from our normal tone, over a relatively uncontroversial story.