By Simon Hackett
The curtain has come down on the News of the World in the wake of the phone hacking scandal and our thoughts go out to all those normal people targeted in times of great suffering. It was a decisive move by clan Murdoch to stop the rot affecting the reputation and share price of the News International. A sacrificial lamb on the altar of media domination. Whilst it was certainly the right outcome for future of the press, whose role is to champion truth and integrity (often the excuse of unveiling the latest footballer’s infidelity) in the protection of a democratic and free society, we will be sad to see it go in some ways. Not just sad for the 250 or so staff who had nothing to do with the hacking and have now lost their jobs. Sad as it was at the very fabric of the media for so long, and sad from our perspective that it often played a big role in many health campaigns – through the main paper and the various incarnations of its magazine, it was able to catch people when they were sitting down for their breakfast, hold their attention for a couple of minutes and get them to briefly consider whether they should have that second rasher of bacon. I have always liked the way that red tops like the NOTW make health more digestible, distilling it down into bite size chunks so that anyone can understand it.
Our promise to clients is to engage people in healthy conversations and inspire healthy decisions. The NOTW certainly engaged people, although maybe not in the most appropriate of ways on occasion, and I don’t know how many healthy decisions it would have inspired after readers finished the latest feature on nutrition from Dr Hilary Jones or the news article about skin cancer rates, but I guess it was quite a lot. When the NOTW has gone, I hope something else stands up for making health more accessible , whether it be another horse from the Murdoch stable – there are rumours the name Sun on Sunday has been registered – or one of the current Sunday papers.
So – what will you be reading next Sunday?
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