Making some drama from the NOTW crisis

murdoch-skyLast week, the focus was on the News of The World and phone hacking, culminating in the newspaper’s final edition on Sunday July 10.

This week, attention has shifted dramatically as events have moved up level by level to embrace the ultimate owner of the British newspaper, News Corporation, in a genuine crisis that could engulf Rupert Murdoch’s media conglomerate in a demolition of reputation and trust that threatens the very structure of the organization.

The most significant development this afternoon was that Murdoch had withdrawn his £8 billion bid for the outstanding shares of pay-TV satellite broadcaster BSkyB, ahead of a united move by government and opposition to formally call for him to withdraw that bid.

Much speculation and opinion continue apace on what’s next for News Corp generally and its newspaper titles in the UK. There is some speculation that Murdoch could walk away from newspapers in the UK entirely.

Meanwhile, it’s interesting to see how comment and opinion on Twitter evolved during the week as expressed in an imaginative animated timeline created by The Guardian – an architect in exposing the phone hacking – showing how Twitter tracked the News of the World scandal.

Rupert Murdoch’s decision to close the News of the World was greeted with a frenzy on Twitter. The Guardian has analysed half a million tweets sent with the #notw hashtag over the past four days to capture how the scandal has resonated with the online community

The timeline animation really is good. I did a little experiment, mashing it up with some library audio using Camtasia Studio to add a little audio drama to the visual experience in a short video of that timeline animation.

(If you don’t see the video embedded above, watch it at YouTube.)

What’s quite fascinating is the animation of the primary characters most frequently mentioned in tweets – a visual word cloud, as it were – and how, from the outset, Rupert Murdoch featured large and consistently so in the Twitter chatter.

This is a business story with significant social, political and global dimensions, one that has quite a way yet to run as it further develops.

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