Why I pulled out of News of the World Fabulous Magazine feature

July 10, 2011 at 8:35 am | Posted in Daily Life | 11 Comments
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After reading my post ‘I was saved by a raisin’ at CyberMummy I began a conversation with a freelance journalist for Fabulous Magazine the glossy lifestyle mag that comes with The News of the World.  Despite the closure of the newspaper this Sunday, the magazine will continue on in its own right.

They were doing a feature about anxieties and were interested in the compulsions I’d overcome to list things, remember everything, find things and keep the house spick and span.  I was quite interested in getting across how quickly I’d been able to address the issue and improve my life once I’d realised it was a curable condition rather than just an annoying part of my personality.  I felt that many people who just tolerated afflictions like OCD would find hope in my story.

But since news broke of the extent of the phone hacking scandal at News International, I started to have second thoughts.  And when the plot thickened I took the cowards route and opted to text the journalist and let them know how I felt.  She’s a really respected journalist and I felt a sense of guilt for letting her down, but nothing compared to the way I’d feel seeing my face inside a magazine that is associated with some many awful events – especially the allegations that Milly Dowler’s phone was hacked and those of the relatives of the 7/7 bombing victims as well as dead servicemen.  It just makes you cold to the core.

Whilst many, many innocent parties at The News of the World have been impacted by this and lost their jobs for no wrong doing, I didn’t feel comfortable with the situation – especially as there was a fee for taking part.  I also feel for the freelance journalists who regularly wrote for Fabulous Magazine and the impact this will have on them.  With the rumours that The Sun will go seven days a week, nothing has really changed with the paper closing but a lot of people have to suffer the consequences as a result – quite unfairly, whilst those responsible still have their soap boxes.

What would you have done?  Pocketed the cash? Run a mile?  I’d be interested to know.



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  1. Personally, I would have continued with the article/interview because the person who was editor at the time of the phone hacking debacle is no longer editor. Many of the journalists will now be different to the ones working for the paper then and the paper had significantly cleaned up it’s act in the past couple of years.
    I find it odd that they chose to close the paper over this issue – it isn’t going to change what happened. They should have remained and proven themselves to be trustworthy and shown that they were taking steps to prevent such things happening in the future.
    I also think that the phone companies should be taking some responsibility and making our phone accounts more secure. So far I haven’t heard of the phone companies that were hacked closing down…

    However, you have to do what’s right for you and if pulling out is the right thing then that’s what you need to do, everyone should appreciate that.
    I was touched by your story as I struggle with ocd, anxiety and agoraphobia.

    • Really nice to have a comment from someone with similar experiences,
      the freelancer text me by accident yesterday saying ‘I’ve had the attached message from Catherine the PR with anxiety issues can you try and talk her round!!’.
      I completely agree that the paper should have remained and tried to make amends, it would have saved a lot of innocent people and also the resentment that will ensue when The Sun goes seven days a week.
      The situation at the moment doesn’t really address any of the issues.
      I think my reasons for pulling out are because I’m worried what people who tend to generalise will think which might be wrong but I would be concerned about being labelled as a News International supporter and giving the impression that I condone whats happened.

      • because what we’ve heard is only a fraction of what we are about to hear. That’ why they closed it. Good riddance. now on to the Mirror and the Express….

  2. I think you did the right thing, there are many out there who will feel the same as you and associate the magazine with NOTW and therefore the phone hacking.
    I wouldn’t want myself in any way associated with the NOTW and, while I do feel sorry for the real journos who work hard, too much horrifying stuff has happened and as soon as your name is next to it there’s no getting that back.
    Well done for sticking to your guns, plenty of people would have taken the cash *hugs*

    • Thanks lovely, it’s hard when it’s not black and white isn’t it (excuse the pun!) but the people who did this really should be responsible for ensuring that those innocent parties at the paper aren’t penalised for their wrong doing. I think the bottom line for me is that content equals as reason to keep publishing so I didn’t want to be content if the people responsible are still employed.

  3. Run a mile. Is there even a question about it? You did the right thing.


  4. You did exactly the right thing….you put morals over money. Good for you!

    • Thanks – well, I was brought up properly wasn’t I?!!

  5. I’d say you did the right thing. If it was me I wouldnt have wanted to be in a magazine associated with “that” paper nor would I want my blog etc associated with them. What they have done is too despicable to the families of murder victims and dead servicemen. Well done on pulling out. Not always the easy thing to do when you’ve commited to something!

  6. Just a quick update – I was offered double the fee, a change of name and no mention of my profession if I’d take part but decided to stand my ground and go with my gut instinct. If you were offered more and more money, would you abandon your morals?!!

    • If (as you had) you had decided to pull out on principle then it would make sense to stick to those principles no matter what the offer.
      So, well done on saying what you mean and meaning what you say ♥

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