LONDON (Reuters) - Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation will close its tabloid News of the World after this Sunday's edition, as a result of an escalating phone hacking scandal, James Murdoch said Thursday.
Following are reactions to the news:
ALEX DEGROOTE, MEDIA ANALYST, PANMURE GORDON
PROFESSOR IAN HARGRAVES, CARDIFF SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM, MEDIA AND CULTURAL STUDIES
"This is an astonishing and unprecedented act. It is appropriate to the moral horror that the owners of the newspaper faced, but it does not yet answer a number of questions.
"A thorough inquiry is still needed to ensure that we know the extent of these heinous acts. That must include asking the question whether other newspapers have been guilty of similar crimes.
"Killing the paper does not kill the story."
ADRIAN SANDERS, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS, THE GOVERNMENT'S JUNIOR COALITION PARTNER
"The cynic in me suggests that this is a ploy to take the pressure off the BSkyB merger and that when that is out of the way something will rise from the ashes.
"I hope I'm wrong but the track record of this company and those within it suggests that cynicism is the right response.
MICHELLE STANISTREET, GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE NATIONAL UNION OF JOURNALISTS
"It's comes as an incredible shock - the announcement James Murdoch should be making tonight is the dismissal of Rebekah Brooks."
"It is the people at the top who need to be punished, not ordinary working journalists."
CLAIRE ENDERS, HEAD OF ENDERS ANALYSIS MEDIA CONSULTANCY
"Our view is that this does not mean the News of the World will be closed. It will simply mean that there will be a seven day Sun. The stain on the brand was going to be permanent, and this is a perfectly sensible decision."
STEVEN BARNETT, PROFESSOR OF COMMUNICATIONS, WESTMINSTER UNIVERSITY
"Astonishing. I'm completely gobsmacked. Talk about a nuclear option. You've got to feel sorry for the people who work on it. There are people who are going to lose their jobs."
"It could just be a fairly cynical ploy and there will be a new News International Sunday newspaper. It could well be that three months down the line the scandal's calmed down a bit and they launch a new Sunday tabloid."
"It's a lightning conductor."
"It will certainly take the heat off some of the immediate allegations about journalistic behavior and phone hacking."
"I suspect that they are fearing the worst in terms of more revelations coming out, and can now turn around and say: 'What more can we do? We have cut this thing off at the roots."
"Rebekah Brooks is still there and is still appointed by Rupert Murdoch to run the inquiry. That is still untenable. It's important that we don't get distracted by this announcement from asking some very serious questions."
STEPHEN ADAMS, FUND MANAGER AT TOP 10 BSKYB SHAREHOLDER AEGON ASSET MANAGEMENT
"We see it (shutting down News of the World) as something to restore or remedy a tarnished reputation for the News Corp group. But we also critically see it as a reflection of New Corp's desire to progress the BSkyB bid and have full ownership of the company."
UNNAMED BANKER ADVISING EUROPEAN MEDIA COMPANIES
"I am very surprised at this, but I still don't think it is enough for the Sky deal to get through. I think there will still have to be some scalps, including Rebekah Brooks. People are out for blood."
TOM WATSON, OPPOSITION LABOR MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT
"Let's be clear, it's not Rupert Murdoch that has closed this paper, it is decent families up and down the country who have shown outrage at the revelations that have bombarded this company all week," Watson told Sky News.
"This is a victory for decent people up and down the land and I say good riddance to the News of the World."
(Compiled by Paul Hoskins; reporting by Victoria Howley, Stefano Ambrogi, Keith Weir, Rosalba O'Brien, Matthew Falloon, Avril Ormsby and Georgina Prodhan; editing by Rosalba O'Brien)