'Thank You and Goodbye'


By Hindustan Times

Passionate readers trooped into corner shops on Sunday to pick up the last edition of the 168-year-old News of the World tabloid. Rupert Murdoch also arrived here to take charge of his UK media empire amid a controversy that his company used illegal news gathering

Priced at one pound, the collector's edition described itself on the cover as 'The world's greatest newspaper, 1843-2011,' and signed off with: 'THANK YOU AND GOODBYE' against a collage of its well known past front pages. "Quite simply, we lost our way," said the final editorial in UK's most selling tabloid to its 7.5 million loyal readers on winding up its operations, days after Rupert's son James, chairman of News International, decided to shut down the paper in the face of the raging phone hacking scandal, where money was swapped for scoops.

There were tears and hugs as journalists left their office on Saturday night after producing the final edition of what is described as an "astonishing paper (that) became part of the fabric of Britain, as central to Sunday as a roast dinner".

Rupert, 80, is expected to deal with the crisis prompted by latest revelations about News of the World's hacking into the phones of victims of crime and kin of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, for information to be used in sensational stories in the tabloid. He has condemned as "deplorable and unacceptable" the allegations that the paper hacked into cell phones of relatives of murdered children and victims of the London bombings.

Extolled by celebrated writer-journalist George Orwell as a part of UK culture, the tabloid reproduced his famous quote: "It is Sunday afternoon, preferably before the war. The wife is already asleep in the armchair and the children have been sent out for a nice walk. You put your feet up on sofa, settle your spectacles on your nose and open the News of the World."