Announcing the first publication of the Sun on Sunday, News Corporation boss Rupert Murdoch has pledged that the paper will be produced with the ‘highest possible standards’ and will not repeat the mistakes of its predecessor, instead seeing a return to the tabloid tradition of ‘completely making stuff up’.
‘The News of the World was out of control. While reporters were caught up confirming stories by hacking voicemails, making illegal payments to police and bribing public officials, they lost sight of what is important in tabloid journalism: taking wild speculation and conjecture and publishing it as fact,’ said Mr Murdoch, who is personally overseeing the launch of the new paper to ensure that nothing printed in the first edition is in any way verifiable.
Unburdened by having to confirm details of any stories, reporters at News International’s latest addition will be free to concentrate on the things that matter most to their readership. These will include fabricated football transfer rumours, completely unfounded allegations of infidelity against film stars, and criticisms of D-List celebrities’ fashion sense.
But it is the dedicated ‘apologies for inaccuracies’ section that Murdoch is most proud of. ‘We have allocated almost a tenth of a page to apologising for all of the stories that are printed the previous week. The location of this section will change weekly, but it will always be somewhere towards the back, before the sports section. Possibly in amongst all the adverts for reclining chairs and chat lines,’ he boasted. Mr Murdoch declined though to comment on rumours that this section will also include apologies for inaccuracies in stories that are due to be published in future.
The Sun on Sunday will be offering jobs to all former News of the World journalists, as long as they can provide a personal reference from Kim Jong Un, President Ahmadinejad or the Dalai Lama. In addition, a new team of accountants will be joining the editorial team. ‘Apart from going back to making stuff up, the one thing we’ve learned from the News of the World affair is that it’s vital that the increase in circulation will cover the resulting legal costs,’ said Murdoch.
Vertically Challenged Giant with a hat tip to waylandsmithy
20th February 2012