We’re worse off without the News of the World

Whatever you thought of the irreverent tabloid, you should be concerned about how it was airbrushed from public life a year ago this week.

Brendan O'Neill

Brendan O'Neill
chief political writer

Topics Politics

Did you like the News of the World, the irreverent tabloid of some 168 years’ standing which was shut down by its owner Rupert Murdoch a year ago this week? Some people did (it had about seven million readers every Sunday), while others came out in hives at the mere mention of it. I found myself somewhere in the middle, sometimes enjoying the paper’s style and screw-you attitude while recognising that through its anti-paedophile and other shrill moral and political campaigns it did its fair share to degrade public life.

But looking back over the past year, in which there has been a huge News of the World-shaped hole in Britain, it doesn’t really matter what you thought of the paper. You should still be concerned by its absence, and more importantly by what that absence reveals about the shifting political balance in modern Britain. After all, if even an outlet as historic, profitable and popular as the News of the World can be done away with effectively for offending liberal sensibilities, what hope is there for other publications that find themselves on the ‘wrong side’ in the Culture War?

Here are five reasons Britain is worse off without the News of the World

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Topics Politics


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