Timeline of News of the World scandal
News of the World’s owner, News International, said Thursday that it will shut down the newspaper after Sunday's issue.
July 16th, 2011
07:44 AM ET

Timeline of News of the World scandal

Accusations that journalists at Rupert Murdoch’s UK newspapers hacked into the phones of politicians, celebrities and innocent people caught up in the news – including child murder victims – has severely bruised his media empire.

It has forced the closure of Britian’s biggest-selling paper, a withdrawal for his bid for the broadcaster BSkyB and the resignation of his trusted UK chief executive Rebekah Brooks.

The following is a timeline of the scandal:

November 2005 – News of the World prints a story about Prince William injuring his knee, prompting royal officials to complain to police about probable voice mail hacking.

January 2007 – News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire are convicted of conspiracy to hack into phone voice mails of royals and are jailed. Andy Coulson, the paper's editor, claims to be unaware of hacking but still resigns.

July 2007 – Goodman and Mulcaire sue the tabloid for wrongful dismissal. Goodman receives £80,000 and Mulcaire receives an undisclosed amount.

June 2008 – News Group Newspapers pays a £700,000 settlement to soccer executive Gordon Taylor, whose phone was hacked by Mulcaire.

November 2009 – Britain's Press Complaints Commission releases a report concluding that there is no evidence of continued phone hacking.

March 2010 – A celebrity public relations agent agrees to drop his lawsuit against News of the World for a payment of more than £1 million.

May 2010 – Coulson becomes the spokesman for British Prime Minister David Cameron.

September 2010 – Former News of the World journalist Sean Hoare alleges that phone hacking was a common practice at the paper and encouraged by Coulson.

January 21, 2011 – Coulson resigns as Cameron's spokesman because of coverage of the phone hacking scandal.

January 26, 2011 – British Metropolitan Police launch a new investigation into voice mail hacking allegations at News of the World.

April 5, 2011 – News of the World chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck and former editor Ian Edmondson are arrested on suspicion of intercepting voice mail messages.

April 10, 2011 – News of the World officially apologizes for hacking into voice mails from 2004 to 2006 and sets up a compensation system for unnamed victims.

April 14, 2011 – Senior News of the World journalist James Weatherup is arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to intercept communications.

June 7, 2011 – Actress Sienna Miller settles with News of the World for £100,000 in damages and legal fees.

June 23, 2011 – Freelance journalist Terenia Taras is arrested on suspicion of phone hacking.

July 5, 2011 – It is revealed that News of the World journalists possibly hacked into then-missing teenager Milly Dowler's voice mail and deleted messages to free space, causing her parents to believe she was still alive.

July 6, 2011Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corp., the parent company of News of the World owner News International, promises full cooperation with the investigation and calls the accusations against News of the World "deplorable and unacceptable."

July 7, 2011 – News International announces that the July 10 edition of News of the World will be the paper's last.

July 8, 2011 – Coulson, former communications chief to UK Prime Minister Cameron and former editor of News of the World, is arrested. Goodman, the paper’s former royal editor who served a four-month jail term in 2007 is also arrested on corruption allegations.

July 10, 2011 – The News of the World publishes it final edition with the headline “Thank you and goodbye.”

Rupert Murdoch flies into London to take personal charge of the crisis.

July 11, 2011 – Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown accuses other News International papers of illegally obtaining private information about him.

July 12, 2011 – British lawmakers ask Rupert and James Murdoch and Brooks to testify before them.

July 13, 2011 – News Corp. withdraws its bid to take over British satellite broadcaster BSkyB.

UK Prime Minister Cameron announces a wide-ranging public inquiry into the British press.

July 14, 2011 – The FBI launches an investigation into allegations that News Corp. employees or associates hacked into the phones of 9/11 victims, a federal source says.

Rupert and James Murdoch agree to give evidence to a committee of British lawmakers.

A 60-year-old man, widely reported to be Neil Wallis, a former executive editor of the News of the World, is arrested.

July 15, 2011 – Brooks resigns as chief executive of News International.

Les Hinton resigns as head of Dow Jones and publisher of The Wall Street Journal; he was Brooks' predecessor at News International.

Rupert Murdoch visits the family of murdered teenager Milly Dowler, whose voice mail had been hacked.

July 16, 2011 - Rupert Murdoch apologizes to the British public with full-page advertisements in seven national newspapers.

July 17, 2011 - Rebekah Brooks is arrested, questioned for about 12 hours, and released on bail until October, police and her spokesman say.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Paul Stephenson – who leadsLondon’s police and is theUK’s highest ranking policeman – resigns. It comes after revelations that former News of the World executive editor Neil Wallis later become a communications consultant for the police.

Stephenson says he decided to resign because increased scrutiny connected to the case would burden his department and detract from its accomplishments.

July 18, 2011 - News International places further advertisments in UK newspapers, explaining how it is "putting right what's gone wrong"

Filed under: Media • United Kingdom
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. Scottish Mama

    @Phillip I always wonder if people can believe in a god, why is it they have a hard time believeing that money hungry white men would decieve, kill, steal, out a spy and send people to war in other countries?

    July 16, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bud

      Murdoch must not believe in God. At the very least, he does not believe in hell.

      July 17, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Buddha Pest

    @Scottish Mama: Yeah the old evil white guy theory.. I do admit there are many among my kind that are quite evil, but isn't there evil in all ethnicities? You know there is slavery going on in Africa, Asia, India and South America even after the evil white guy abandoned it about 150 years ago. Let's look at how the world is doing.. Traditionally all the eurpoean countries are doing much better in terms of human rights versus other countries. It's just a fact. We have freedom of expression even to the point people such as you or I can contemplate how evil our leaders are, but try doing that in China. I'm with the poster that says it's a theatrical presentation of good vs evil. If you really thought it was just greedy men and there is no God here then you should take up arms against your oppressor, instead of sitting on your haggis eating rump doing nothing about this situation. Typical scottish woman.. blah blah blah.. Let's get drunk, drink some warm beer, play golf (fine game), and shag a sheep. Baa baaaaa..

    July 16, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      How about powerful human beings? Feeling less picked on? And if we cannot pay our debts why is it hard to believe that leaders do not get into a room and try to fix things amongst themselves? Why get together without press? To play backgammmon? I am not alowed in these meetings so to go there would be fruitless. I believe you sit on your rump as much or more than I do, pot calling the kettle black?

      July 17, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      I will drink a cold beer, I do golf, and the sheep shaggin, no thanks.

      July 17, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  3. Name*adam

    Fair and balanced! Hello

    July 16, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. 3 Fingers Pointing Back

    Your continued efforts to make men the bad guy while hiding behind the mask they provide you is only a waste of time. Convincing myself or any other blogger that there is a very simple flaw or trait that men possess is falling on def ears. If it's just as simple as "flawed men" then take up arms against them. Otherwise you look lazy, cowardly, deceptive, or dumb.

    July 16, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. HRH banasy

    No, I didn't look it up...but I did just hear this riddle last week.

    If you didn't want anyone to answer, why post it?

    July 16, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Philip

    @ regular CNN blogger hiding behind Buddah Pest....my Carlyle Group tineline is outta whack? Correct me then ya little brat. You seem like a child singing "Na nana na naaaa naaaaa, na nana na naaaanaaaa".

    July 17, 2011 at 6:31 am | Report abuse |
  7. Philip

    @Scottish Mama...true. Most of the evil men running this world do have white skin. But when one realizes that Geroge Bush and Colin Powell are blood-related, and that they are both distant cousins of the Queen of England, one begins to realize that RACISM is nothing more tool that these evil "white" men use to keep US at each others throat divided as they go about doing what they do. We bicker among ourselves over what color it is. Isn't that just silly?

    July 17, 2011 at 7:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      White guy and that is what they pick out of what I said. Okay humans beings. Do you think it will make Buddah Pest feel better? Why is it hard to believe that if the leaders meet in a meeting that is not covered that they don't make deals. Why get together if you are not planning something? Why not go public with the just fodder? Why are people arrested for taking pictures? Why is it hard to believe? We cannot get together on a debt ceiling, why can it not be that a group of leaders get together and put together plans to talk about world issues and plot to do it on a global scale.

      July 17, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Clinton is related too, a distant cousin? The truth is hard to get to when the focus always turns to outfield, (religion, race, g/l, gender) it clouds the meat of the situation.

      July 17, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  8. saywhat

    well said.
    Racism, intolerance, hate & fear are rising their ugly heads in the socio-political climate of this country. Thanks to "these evil white men" . A people scared & divided are easy to control .
    look at the recent world history of colonial empires , wars.
    As for Murdoch & his goons/ goonies , I hope they don't get away.

    July 17, 2011 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  9. Scottish Mama

    I guess I have no answers just questions. I guess since our govenment has turned on us with police and army it happens everywhere to keep the HUMAN race in check. I value what others think and try to make sense of why things happen. I think time exposes everyones motives. People do not live forever and death beds usually make confessions easy to relieve guilt.

    July 17, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  10. Scottish Mama

    @AJ-Librarians know where to look.

    July 17, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  11. HRH banasy

    @Scottish Mama:

    I just heard the riddle last week.
    Am I supposed to act stupid because of my connection to a library?
    That would be rather dumb, don't you agree?
    I heard the riddle when I was out with the hubs at a *bar*,
    almost as great a source for information as a library! 😉

    July 17, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Hey your highness Banasy-I have learned a thing or two in a pub or bar meself. I like to people watch. The actions of men and women in bars have always intrigued me. Poor AJ, did not have a chance.

      July 17, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. HRH banasy


    P.S.: I didn't guess right last week, either!

    July 17, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. morris wise

    Phone hacking is a close cousin to wiretapping. It is commonly practiced not only by newspapers but by governments on the hunt for dissidents. The only way to absolutely protect privacy is by using the whisper into a trusted friends ear.

    July 17, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • cheekbrown

      So true.

      July 18, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  14. fernace

    Don't worry about Buddah Pest too much, Scottish Mama, he lives up to the 2'nd part of his name, i.e. he reads 2 sentences from a post & goes on a rant about it! Can you say "taking things out of context" Mr. Pest? Btw, you always seem well informed & fair minded, Scottish Mama! Shout out to the smart librarian, HRH banasy, as well!!

    July 17, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Hi fernace-It seems every time I respond to Phillip he turns nasty. I don't pretend to know all, just an opinion. Thanks, for the words of encouragement, I'm sure one of us will get a smack down soon.smile

      July 17, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. HRM banasy

    Hi, fernace! 😉

    July 17, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
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