Leading article: The dark side of The Sun on Sunday

 

Share
Related Topics

This weekend, it is hard to avoid the launch of the new Sun on Sunday.

The publicity blitz heralding its creation has been exceptional, if unsurprising – Rupert Murdoch knows all about striking the first commercial blow and does not do things by halves.

What is perturbing, though, is the way in which The Sun appearing on a seventh day has prompted a revision of history. The impression is gaining ground that Mr Murdoch is behaving like a saint, bestowing beneficence on a troubled Fleet Street and a Britain desperate for The Sun's brand of journalism, its Sundays blighted by the loss of the News of the World.

True, jobs are being created, and true, the opening of a newspaper in these hard times is a cause for celebration. But the cynicism of the exercise should not be ignored. Arguably, the phone-hacking scandal merely hastened the News of the World's demise rather than sealed its fate. The paper no longer fitted with News International's desire for uniformity across its titles online. The more profitable Sun was always going to become a seven-day publication – the question was not if, but when.

Having seen his bid for BSkyB dashed, his political influence shattered, and his good name and that of his company severely damaged, Mr Murdoch was able to salvage something by seizing the moment to kill the News of the World and welcome The Sun on Sunday. The company has also avoided embarrassing legal trials by settling with 59 hacking victims.

So, justifiable high-fives all round at Wapping and whistles from Mr Murdoch's fawning admirers? Hardly. The fallout from the appalling behaviour of some of his employees continues. On Monday, the day after the Sunday Sun's vaunted birth, details of the settlement between News International and the singer Charlotte Church will be disclosed in court. Next week, too, the Leveson Inquiry will begin exploring the links between the press and the police, with much of that attention focused on News International. Meanwhile, a second wave of those who believe their private voicemails were accessed promises further payouts and apologies. And Scotland Yard investigations are ongoing. Ever present is the possibility that shareholders in Mr Murdoch's parent News Corporation may signal "enough" and order an exit from UK newspapers. The Sun may rise tomorrow, but make no mistake, Mr Murdoch's star is setting.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Errors & Omissions: Whoever and whatever Arthur was, he wasn’t Scottish

Guy Keleny
Labour's Jeremy Corbyn arrives to take part in a Labour party leadership final debate, at the Sage in Gateshead, England, Thursday, Sept. 3  

Jeremy Corbyn is here to stay and the Labour Party is never going to look the same again

Andrew Grice
The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea