When News International announced that the disgraced News of the World would be printing its final edition last Sunday, they sent in two senior editors. Their brief was simple: scour every last line in the newspaper to make sure that nothing derogatory, slanderous, libellous, abusive or offensive was written by disgruntled staff about their parent company and its senior executives. And so it was: with a front page that read ‘Thank You & Goodbye’, the final edition sold up to two million extra copies.
But there was one thing the heavies from head office forgot to check: the crossword on page 47. Clues to the Quickie puzzle included “deplored”, “desist”, “disaster”, “menace”, “racket”, “stench” and “tart.” Disgruntled staff have claimed the last laugh.
In an act of editorial audacity that has come to typify the newspaper, Sunday’s edition featured quotes from George Orwell on the back page. But that’s not the end of the audacity. It’s been reported a consortium is considering reviving the newspaper – employing existing staff – as a serious investigative newspaper, if Rupert Murdoch decides to sell the brand (which is unlikely).
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