Scuttling the NOTW is quite a spectacular act of desperation. If - as has been claimed over and again - it was just the action of a few rogue reporters blah blah blah - why the decapitation of a venerable title? It's a transparent act of sacrifice, the poor poker player throwing down a jack in the hope that everyone else has been bluffing.
It also begs the question, what haven't we heard yet that was so bad it required this sort of sacrifice?
Perhaps this is why:
Mark Stephens, head of media with Finers Stephens Innocent lawyer, said under British law the paper "may not be obliged to retain documents that could be relevant to civil and criminal claims against the newspaper—even in cases that are already underway."
If News of the World is to be liquidated, Stephens told Reuters, it "is a stroke of genius—perhaps evil genius."
"All of the assets of the shuttered newspaper, including its records, will be transferred to a professional liquidator (such as a global accounting firm). The liquidator's obligation is to maximize the estate's assets and minimize its liabilities. So the liquidator could be well within its discretion to decide News of the World would be best served by defaulting on pending claims rather than defending them. That way, the paper could simply destroy its documents to avoid the cost of warehousing them—and to preclude any other time bombs contained in News of the World's records from exploding." (1)If so, then whatever still awaits revelation must be potent to warrant junking a whole newspaper. News International mustn't be allowed to get away with it.
1 - "News of the World closes – live coverage". Posted by Adam Gabbatt and David Batty, on the Guardian live Blog, 7th of July 2011. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/blog/2011/jul/07/news-of-the-world-closes-live-coverage)