Thursday, July 14, 2011

"Quite simply we lost our way"

Britain's News of the World hit the newsstands for the last time on Sunday, ending its 168-year history of scoops and scandal with the headline "Thank You and Goodbye."

The UK's best selling newspaper signed off after 168 years with a front page which contains a montage of some of its most famous exclusives and scoops.

It marked the dramatic end of the Sunday tabloid following the decision by publisher News International to close the newspaper in the wake of the phone hacking allegations.

According to Guardian, the newspaper's final edition consists of a 48-page pullout and promises its readers that profits from its sale will go to charity.

A sub-headline reads "After 168 years, we finally say a sad but very proud farewell to our 7.5m loyal readers" and in the top right corner are the words "The world's greatest newspaper 1843-2011".

In a full-page editorial on Page 3, the paper apologised for hacking phones, telling readers: "Quite simply we lost our way."

It said: "We praised high standards, we demanded high standards but, as we are now only too painfully aware, for a period of a few years up to 2006 some who worked for us, or in our name, fell shamefully short of those standards.

"There is no justification for this appalling wrongdoing. No justification for the pain caused to victims, nor for the deep stain it has left on a great history."

There were emotional scenes at the newspaper's headquarters in Wapping earlier as editor Colin Myer led his journalists out for the final time to rapturous applause and cheering.

He said: "I want to pay tribute to this wonderful team of people here who after a really difficult day have produced a brilliantly professional newspaper."

He added: "As I said to the staff this morning, this is not where we wanted to be or where we deserve to be.

"But as a final tribute to 7.5 million readers, this is for you and for the staff. Thank you."

The presses began to roll on some five million copies at around 9.50pm as Myer announced that staff were finishing their last working day together by going to the pub.

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