News International is taking down its online paywall for the last edition of The News of the World on Sunday, July 10. But the scandal-ridden newspaper might just get scooped by one of its own.
An anonymous person, calling herself @ExNOTWJourno on Twitter, has said that she is getting together with ex-colleagues from the newspaper to launch a blog
on Saturday night that promises the “inside story” of NOTW. Update: The information, ExNOTWJourno tells paidContent, will now go live on Sunday, at 4pm London time, due to ironing out some wording after consulting with lawyers.
The identity of the journalist has not been revealed so far, and like many an elaborate tale spun on the web, it could be a hoax. But it’s one that has captured the public imagination. In just over 80 tweets over the last day, ExNOTW Journalist has picked up more than 17,000 followers. (Others with similar names have picked up far fewer: NOTWJourno with 1,204; Marie X with 732.)
Now she — ExNOTWJourno has confirmed being female — is using that platform to spread word of a blog that is set to debut tomorrow, Saturday, July 9:
And then later, elaboration that the scoops were not just scoops on NOTW stories, but on NOTW itself:
On Friday, she noted that she was working with 16 colleagues, journalists and otherwise, “putting together as much info as possible to share,” and telling “stories we weren’t able to tell.”
One sneak peek — if it is true — sounds like it could end up implicating people in the criminal investigation into tampering with evidence:
If this blog is as explosive as she claims, it could add new dimensions to a story that has been seeing rapid developments over the past few days: starting from allegations of phone hacking of crime victims and their families to get stories, the scandal has included accusations of executives perverting the course of justice; arrests of key figures from the company; and the closure of one of the biggest and oldest newspapers in the history of the UK, owned by one of the world’s largest media companies. The events have caused a financial blow to News Corp (NSDQ: NWS) in the form of lost advertising and tumbling stock prices; and potentially might end up scuppering a key acquisition of the broadcaster and pay-TV giant BSkyB (NYSE: BSY).
We’ll assume for now that this blog will not be behind a paywall.