Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Boycott the News of the World: A Cut-Out-and-Give-Away Guide

[UPDATE 7pm WEDS 6th JULY: The flyer and all uploads now updated to include the latest news. If you downloaded it before, you might want to nab the latest version as well. Many thanks to everyone who’s mentioned the flyer on Twitter, Facebook, various web forums and the Guardian comments section. Feel free to adapt, amend, mirror or host any versions of that flyer yourself. Get that message out there!]

The News of the World phone hacking scandal rumbles on, with fresh allegations that the paper targeted the families of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman. A Twitter-led campaign to boycott the newspaper has been rumbling on since the story broke, along with a concerted campaign requesting that a number of companies re-evaluate their advertising spend. Some members of the public are even phoning the News of the World newsline (0207 782 1001), yelling a certain word starting with the letter ‘C’, then hanging up.

All perfectly admirable behaviour, but we can’t help but feel a big bunch of people who probably didn’t buy the News of the World in the first place pledging not to buy the paper won’t really make too much difference. Indeed, any member of the public who chooses to get their ‘news’ from tabloid newspapers may well remain blissfully unaware of the story – at the time of writing, only the Daily Mail is giving any prominence to the latest phone hacking revelations, featuring the story on the front page of today’s edition (though not the main story), and at the time of writing it’s the only tabloid to feature it as top story on their website. In the other tabloids it’s rather suspiciously deemed worthy being tucked away in the inside pages, leaving front page room for Ashley Cole, Prince William and the latest desperate health scare (yeah, that’ll be the Express).

What might help is to try and get the story out there, where tabloid readers are a little more likely to see it. Say for example, you could print out a quick synopsis of the phone hacking story as it stands, and discreetly place it atop the pile of News of the Worlds in your local newsagent, petrol station forecourt or supermarket. Something a bit like this, perhaps?


Full JPEG (641KB) | PNG (607KB) | PDF (122KB)
Word 2003 Document (420KB) | Word 2007 Document (407KB)
Photoshop PSD (Zipped, 9,714KB)

There’s the above sheet in a variety of formats, feel free to download, print, disseminate, or even adjust it as you wish to make any number of points expressing how you feel about the News of the World. Feel free to host these files on your own websites, Twitpic accounts, blogs, Facebook sites or whatever – the main thing is to get the message out there.

You might even remain strongly in favour of the paper, and want to re-edit the document to express how you think hacking into the voicemail of missing children is actually a good thing, and that Rebekah Brooks should now become Prime Minister. Though, y’know, you’d be an idiot.

The main thing is, if the tabloid newspapers – who you’ll remember think that taking any approach to get a good story is wholly justified – don’t want this story out there, we might just have to do it ourselves.


5 .:

Anonymous said...

Nice work - how about a Facebook campaign?

Anonymous said...

How about organising for people to stand outside supermarkets and newsagents this Sunday with posters on why not to buy the NOTW?

Anonymous said...

Please post of a list of NOTW advertisers and how to express disgust with those companies. That is how to really hit them in the pocketbook so that it folds. Otherwise Ford et al will be back with ads in a year or so.

Mark X said...

@Anon1: Going by Feedjit, it seems to have been picked up by a few Facebook groups already, though due to the vagaries of FB's linking system, I've no idea which ones. By all means feel free to post the flyer to any FB groups you like.

@Anon2: By the sounds of it, there'll be a number of protests. I'm certainly happy if anyone wants to print out copies of that flyer to do with as they wish.

@Anon3: Splendidly, the Guardian's Datablog are already on the case, with a list of the Top 50 ad spenders on the News Of The World: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/jul/06/news-of-the-world-top-50-advertisers-spend

Anonymous said...

All this is well and good and all the trashy tabloids in this country deserve to be boycotted... but there is the wider problem at the root of all this and that is: how the hell did tabloids like NOTW grow into the largest newspaper in this country. The answer is simple - a large proportion of the people of this country have a pathetic, sick, voracious appetite for trashy news, celebrity gossip and sexed up sensationalised news. It is a very sad, sorry state of affairs!! I am very cynical about all this outcry and public boycott of NOTW... give it a a few weeks and those people who cannot live without their daily 'fix' of trashy news will quietly go back to their sick low lives with their beloved tabloids... people have to change.. their mindsets and attitudes have to change.. people need to get a life and raise themselves up from their pathetic low lives and learn to live by some morals and ethics.


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