Ms. Brooks, the former editor of the now-defunct News of the World, resigned as chief executive of News Corp’s U.K. newspaper unit in July 2011. She left following allegations that, while she was the tabloid’s editor in 2002, it intercepted voice-mail messages on the mobile phone of missing teenager Milly Dowler, who was later found dead. The Dowler case figured into the charges prosecutors filed against her in July 2012.
of News Corp’s[color=red] U.K. newspaper unit [size=75]in July 2011.
She left following allegations that, while she was the tabloid’s editor in 2002, [/size][color=red]it intercepted voice-mail messages…
Since I am madly in love with PRINT newspapers (not the Internet variety), may I join your thread?
You have received two EXCELLENT answers.
As a moderator pointed out to me in another thread, I am not the best reader in the world, but I think – grammatically speaking – the antecedent of “it” has to be “News Corp’s U.K. newspaper unit.”
Let me try to explain my reasoning.
“the former editor of the now-defunct News of the World” is set off by commas. So that means it is UNnecessary information. Right?
“While she was the tabloid’s editor in 2002” gets the same analysis as above.
So, basically, the paragraph reads:
Ms. Brooks resigned as chief executive of News Corp’s U.K. newspaper unit in July 2011. She left following allegations that it intercepted voice-mail messages on the mobile phone of missing teenager Milly Dowler, who was later found dead. (Thus, “it” can only refer to “News Corp’s U.K. newspaper unit.”)
When I first read your paragraph, I, too, immediately thought: Of course, “it” must refer to the newspaper that did the bad deed; but, on closer consideration, I have to conclude that “it” has to refer to the newspaper unit.
I agree that ‘it’ refers to the unit, but wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the writer intended ‘it’ to refer to ‘The News of the World’ (the tabloid newspaper). I think that is probably the intention.
Though this is non restrictive, it is not appositional in the normal sense. The allegations refer to the period during which she was editor of the Tabloid (I take ‘Tabloid’ as yet another publication unit of the mother corporation).
The interception took place during her tenure in 2002. Now that she is the CE of the News Corp’s U.K. newspaper unit, she accepts the responsibility for what had happened and resigns. So, my question is: where did the interception actually take place? If it was at the Tabloid, then the ‘it’ cannot but refer to the Tabloid. Otherwise, the previous CE should be held liable.
Please re-examine the whole situation and comment. Nevertheless, I do not deny that my comprehensibility may be limited or my comprehension is incorrect.
Two moderators have stated that they feel that “it” – grammatically speaking – refers to the “newspaper unit.”
But – as one moderator said – the sense of the paragraph is certainly with you. To be unkind, it is possible that the writer did not analyze his sentence before writing. (That is why a few – very few! – writers always diagram a sentence before writing it. Diagramming a sentence forces you to account for every word.) I agree that the writer – in his mind – may have been referring to the newspaper – just as you said.
I do not know anything about newspaper production, so I had better not even try to guess where the interception took place. I will say, though, that it seems Ms. Brooks resigned because she was the editor of the News of the World when the intercepted report was published, so she was responsible for letting it be published. An editor takes the credit – and the blame.