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Read all about it: press marks end of the World

By Catriona Davies, for CNN
A selection of UK newspaper front pages on Friday, July 8.
A selection of UK newspaper front pages on Friday, July 8.
  • "Hacked to Death" headline in The Times and Daily Mirror
  • Daily Telegraph writes "Goodbye, cruel World"
  • Rebekah Brooks pictured on most UK front pages and critized in some leader columns

London (CNN) -- News of the World was famous for its clever headlines, but suddenly the tables were turned.

It was up to the rest of Fleet Street's headline writers to sum up their competitor's -- or in some cases stablemate's -- demise in a few snappy words.

One headline -- "Hacked to Death" -- appeared twice, both in News International's upmarket daily The Times and in the tabloid Daily Mirror.

Among others, the tone ranged from sanctimonious to sympathetic over the swift closure of a 168-year British institution.

The Daily Telegraph chose "Goodbye, cruel World" while the Daily Mail wrote "Paper that died of shame." A similar message -- "Shut in Shame" appeared in the Daily Express.

The Sun, News of the World's daily sister paper, summed up the day as "World's End," while The Guardian, which has done most to expose the allegations of phone hacking, chose a straight-laced "The scandal that closed the News of the World."

The Independent quoted an anonymous member of News of the World's staff in its headline, saying "Newspaper 'sacrificed to save one woman.'"

Gallery: Major players in phone hacking scandal

The woman in question -- pictured alongside -- was Rebekah Brooks, News International's chief executive, who was editor when some of the most serious alleged phone hacking incidents of phone hacking occurred and remained in her job on Thursday.

Brooks, photographed leaving News International's east London offices by car on Thursday, was featured on most front pages.

The decision to keep Brooks in her job comes in for more criticism in some leader columns.

The Guardian criticized the vague term "wrongdoers" in James Murdoch's statement and called on Brooks to resign.

"If Rebekah Brooks, the chief executive of News International, was not herself one of the 'wrongdoers' then she was guilty of such editorial blindness and managerial ineptitude that she should resign," the paper wrote.

"Mr. Murdoch's statement praises the 'loyal staff'... whose good work is a credit to journalism.' But the blunt conclusion is: they go, she stays."

The Independent too believes News of the World's closure does not end the scandal.

It said there was a "cold commercial logic" and "cynical maneuvering" to Murdoch's decision, and added: "The purpose of this move is to prevent the rest of the sprawling Murdoch media organization from contamination."

The stench of cover-up and criminality hangs as thick as ever in the Murdoch court.
--The Independent newspaper

The Independent said if News of the World's stablemate The Sun becomes a seven-day operation, it will have been "nothing more than a giant re-branding exercise," leaving senior executives untouched.

"The life of a notorious newspaper might have been extinguished yesterday, but the stench of cover-up and criminality hangs as thick as ever in the Murdoch court," the Independent concluded.

A similar sentiment comes from the Daily Mirror which describes the closure as a "cynical gamble" and "raises far more questions than it answers."

It said: "It was a straightforward business decision. Use the scandal as cover to sacrifice a newspaper with £200 million ($320 million ) -- but shrinking -- revenues a year in order to access the potential £1 billion ($1.6 billion) and growing revenues of BSkyB.

"Get rid of a bad apple to grab a shiny new one -- a classic Murdoch slight of hand."

Not surprisingly, The Times, a News International paper, is more sympathetic.

It said: "Yesterday, a little bit of England died and it is time to mourn." It said the "News of the World lost its bearings and the faith of its readers" but insisted it was the action of "a handful of people."

The Daily Mail blamed politicians of both main parties for getting too close to Murdoch's media empire.

It said: "It has been a tumultuous and frankly depressing week for British journalism in which the flagrant criminal activities of one newspaper have besmirched the media in general and inflicted possibly irreparable damage on the cause of press freedom."

The newspaper added: "The Mail does not dance on the News of the World's grave." It goes on to accuse others of "sanctimonious crowing."

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