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News of the World scandal: How often do reporters pay off police?

According to the Guardian, the News of the World tabloid not only engaged in phone hacking but also paying police for information. The allegations have touched off debate about the practice.

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Asked by the Monitor if he felt the scandal would destroy the BSkyB deal, Mr. Fitzpatrick of the NUJ said: “You would think so.”

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A reported 160,000 people have contacted Culture Minister Jeremy Hunt on the proposed takeover, hoping to make their views clear.

The Guardian, which has been leading the investigation into the NotW’s use of phone hacking, reported yesterday that the newspaper paid bribes of 100,000 pounds ($160,000) in 2003 alone.

That's the year that Andy Coulson became editor. Mr. Coulson went on to become a senior press adviser for Prime Minister David Cameron, but was forced to resign earlier this year when new developments emerged about the extent of NotW's phone hacking practices. He was arrested Friday and later released on bail.

Mr. Cameron sought today to distance himself from the scandal, though he also described Coulson as "a friend."

"I gave him a second chance, and it didn't work out, it was my decision to hire him and my decision alone and I take full responsibility for it," he told reporters at a press conference.

Charities leery of NotW

The final edition of 168-year-old NotW, currently the best-selling English language newspaper in the world, will roll off the presses Saturday night for sale on Sunday. It will contain no commercial advertising and News International says all sales revenue will go to charity.

The newspaper's attempt to make up for its misdeeds is not going down well in the charity sector, according to Rob Cope of Remember A Charity, an organization that promotes bequests to charitable causes.

"There were certainly three household name charities that have turned down advertising," he says.

Remember A Charity, for one, had discussions via its advertising agencies but felt it could not go ahead with the move on ethical grounds.

"Charities rely on the public trust and the stories around the News of the World's practices are showing they've lost that and created ill feeling among the public," he says.


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