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News International

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News International
Type Media
Industry Mass media
Founded February 1981
Headquarters London
Key people Rupert Murdoch
James Murdoch
Products Newspapers and Websites
Owner(s) News Corporation

News International Ltd is a British newspaper publisher owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Until June 2002, it was called News International plc.

The company's major titles are published by three subsidiary companies, Times Newspapers Ltd, News Group Newspapers and NI Free Newspapers Limited. These newspapers are written at a large site in Wapping in east London, near Tower Hill, which earned the nickname " Fortress Wapping" after a fierce dispute with the union to which the workforce had previously belonged. The printing of the papers is now undertaken at Broxbourne, Liverpool and Lanarkshire (the largest and fastest print press in the world).

Between 1987 and 1995, News International owned, through its subsidiary News (UK) Ltd, Today, the first UK national newspaper to be printed in colour. All of News International's newspapers (with the exception of The London Paper, launched in 2006) were founded by other owners, in some cases hundreds of years ago.

In October 2005 News International sold TSL Education, publishers of Times Educational Supplement and other education titles, for £235m ($415m). The Times Literary Supplement, previously part of TSL Education, has been retained by News International as part of this deal. Darwin ltd, who had taken over the company, continued to produce the same product.

Tower Hamlets has granted permission for the re-modelling of the main building at the News International Wapping compound The HQ will give a united home to News International, Harper Collins, MySpace, Dow Jones, Fox and related businesses for the first time and will help to regenerate the Wapping site.

Its main competitor is Associated Newspapers, which is in turn owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust.

News International Newspapers Limited

Times Newspapers

Times Newspapers Limited publishes the compact daily newspaper The Times and the broadsheet The Sunday Times.

Times Newspapers was formed in 1967 when The Thomson Corporation purchased The Times from the Astor family and merged it with The Sunday Times, which it owned since 1959. This company was purchased by Murdoch's News International in February 1981. In 2006 an American edition of The Times was launched in New York, Boston and some other east coast U.S. cities.

Murdoch states that the law and the independent board prevents him from exercising editorial control.

News Group Newspapers

News Group Newspapers publishes the tabloid newspapers The Sun and the News of the World.

The News of the World Organisation was purchased in January 1969. The Sun was acquired in October 1969 from Mirror Group Newspapers.

Murdoch states that he acts as a "traditional proprietor"; exercising editorial control on major issues such as which political party to back in a general election or policy on Europe.

NI Free Newspapers Limited

The London Paper was the first newspaper to be launched by News International rather than bought. It was an evening freesheet distributed at bus and rail stations in London. It was published five days a week from September 2006 to September 2009, when it closed faced with competition from other free papers.

Phone hacking allegations

It was alleged by the Guardian newspaper in July 2009, that News Group Newspapers paid in excess of £1m to settle legal cases that threatened to reveal News Group journalists' use on repeated occasions of illegal methods in the pursuit of stories. It has been alleged that News Group staff, including Clive Goodman, illegally cracked the mobile phones of thousands of public figures, including politicians and celebrities. Goodman was jailed in 2007 for tapping the mobile phones of three members of the royal staff; this is an offence under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act. It was stated by News International at the time that Goodman had acted without their knowledge, and that no other journalists made use of such methods.

The evidence uncovered by The Guardian apparently shows that many more figures were in fact the subject of phone-taps, including Nigella Lawson, Lenny Henry, Gwyneth Paltrow, John Prescott, Boris Johnson and Tessa Jowell. In 2008, the News of the World paid in excess of £400,000 in damages to Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, who was suing the newspaper for its involvement in the illegal interception of messages to his mobile phone. According to The Guardian, this payment, made in exchange for Taylor's silence 'prevented the public from knowing anything about the hundreds of pages of evidence which had been disclosed in Taylor's case.'

In contrast to News International's earlier denials of knowledge, The Guardian cites suppressed evidence revealing that News of the World's editorial staff were involved with private investigators who engaged in illegal phone-hacking, and that both reporters and executives were commissioning purchases of confidential information; this is illegal unless it is shown to be in the public interest. Apparently, these activities were well-known within the News of the World, being 'openly paid for by the accounts department with invoices which itemised illegal acts'. The paperwork is alleged to show that the above occurred during the tenure of Andy Coulson, who is chief press adviser to David Cameron, leader of the UK's Conservative Party.

Other holdings

  • News International (Advertisements) Limited
  • News International Associated Services Limited
  • News International Distribution Limited
  • News International Newspapers (Knowsley) Limited
  • News International Newspapers (Scotland) Limited
  • News International Pension Trustees Limited
  • News International Supply Company Limited
  • News International Television Investment Company Limited
  • News International Television Limited
  • NI Syndication Limited
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